KARACHI: On the eve of Independence Day, Pakistan Navy launched a mangrove plantation campaign in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah inaugurated the campaign, titled ‘Pakistan Navy – Mangroves Plantation Campaign 2017’, by planting mangrove saplings.
The campaign is part of the plan to plant over one million mangroves in the coastal areas of Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, the naval chief highlighted that deforestation of mangroves has not only affected biodiversity of the country’s coastal areas but also livelihoods of the communities living along the coast. Admiral Zakaullah elaborated that such campaigns will not only increase the mangrove forest cover but also play a key role in creating awareness among the public about the importance of these forests. The naval chief urged all the relevant federal and provincial institutions and the public to join hands for the cause.
“Let us pledge that we will value it, perform our duties with honesty and contribute in making this country greater,” said Admiral Zakaullah.
Mangroves are vital to the coastal ecosystem as they prevent sea intrusion and help sustain marine life. Unfortunately over the years, mangroves along the Pakistani coast have diminished. Being a major stakeholder in the maritime domain and realising the importance of mangroves for marine life, the Pakistan Navy has taken a major initiative to revive mangrove forests along the coast. The navy has also undertaken similar campaigns in the past.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by a large number of senior military and civil officials, journalists, representatives of the World Wildlife Fund, International Union for Conservation of Nature and businessmen.