A mangrove plantation campaign was launched on Thursday by World Wide Fund for Nature – Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) in collaboration with Artistic Fabric and Garment Industries (AFGI), as part of Earth Hour 2018.
The launch ceremony was held at the WWF-Pakistan Wetland Centre at Sandspit in which participants from both the organisations planted 300 mangrove saplings. WWF-Pakistan and AFGI also committed on the occasion to achieve plantation of 27,000 mangrove saplings in Karachi by March 24 this year.
Speaking at the ceremony, WWF-Pakistan Sindh and Balochistan Head Dr Babar Khan said according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the year 2017 was among the three warmest years on record. He added that in the wake of climate change, there was a dire need to collectively work for a sustainable future.
Pakistan has the highest annual deforestation rate in Asia and its forest cover is now less than 2.5% of the country’s total land, Dr Khan lamented. He stressed need for initiating massive plantation drives in and near metropolitan cities like Karachi to reduce adverse impacts of the climate change. The heatwave of 2015 in Karachi which caused more than 1,000 deaths was a result of climate change, he said.
Dr Khan informed the gathering that although Pakistan was not contributing to climate change in a significant way, it did rank among the top 10 countries most vulnerable to adverse impacts of the climate change. He urged the private sector to participate in environment-related projects in the country.
AFGI Director Ahmed Javed said he hoped that the mangrove plantation campaign would continue. He further expressed hope for similar partnerships in the future.