'Forests key to tackling climate change'

Published: July 29, 2017
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Zahid Hamid says trees make crops more resilient to erratic weather patterns. PHOTO: REUTERS

Zahid Hamid says trees make crops more resilient to erratic weather patterns. PHOTO: REUTERS

Forests are the most effective way of coping with the global warming-induced climate change which impacts the country’s critical socio-economic sectors, particularly agriculture and water.

This was stated by the Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid while inaugurating the Monsoon Tree Plantation Campaign at the Rose and Jasmine Park in the capital on Friday.

The minister said that the government plans to plant over 103 million trees across the country over the next two months as a part of a larger plan to reinvigorate the ailing forestry sector of the country.

“The important services forests provide are often ignored or underestimated by many of us until we realise the unprecedented environmental importance the forests promise to us,” Hamid said.

“Trees, in fact, help protect soil and regulate water on farms, mitigate floods, regulate weather and enrich biodiversity. Besides, crops grown in agroforestry systems are often more resilient to drought, excess rain and erratic weather patterns,” the minister said.

An official of the Climate Change ministry later said that the government’s plan aims to recover tree cover which had been lost owing to unchecked deforestation in the country over the past few decades.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, MoCC Spokesperson Mohammad Saleem said that a national forest policy has been approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI) which will help boost the country’s forest cover and its resilience to climate change disasters such as floods, heat waves, sea-level rise, sea intrusion, land erosion, landslides, disappearing of natural water springs in mountain areas, erratic and shifting weather and rainfall patterns.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2017.

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