ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Amin Aslam has said that Green Pakistan Programme (GPP) initiated by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is to be integrated into the Billion tree tsunami. Following the decision of the cabinet regarding the initiation of the mass tree plantation drive across Pakistan from September 2, the representatives of provinces also deliberated over the issue at a meeting held at the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) under the chair of PM Advisor Malik Amin Aslam in Islamabad on Monday.

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Aslam said that the Billion Tree Tsunami was a successful project recognised at a national and international level. “Now we have to extend this programme to the whole country,” Aslam said. He also highlighted that Green Pakistan Programme will be integrated into the Billion Tree Tsunami and emphasised that monitoring of plants was very important for plantation. He also mentioned that the MoCC would write to chief ministers to inaugurate this mass afforestation on September 2, in their respective provinces.

Trees are to be planted and distributed all over Pakistan on this day. He instructed to include all institutions in this important task. National Highway authority was asked to plant trees on some points along motorways and highways. He also informed that the plantation of 1.5 million trees was planned for September 2 with the approval of the Prime Minister.

“All provinces will establish free distribution points for citizen two days before so they can get saplings and a massive media campaign will be launched to create public awareness,”Aslam said. He also instructed the provinces to provide targets for the massive afforestation.

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“The officials of the Green Pakistan Programme also gave a detailed presentation about upcoming massive tree plantations countrywide. “The purpose of the campaign is to encourage people, communities, organisations, businesses, civil society and the government to collectively plant trees for creating awareness about benefits of forests and to increase forest cover in big cities of the country,” said an MOCC press release adding that the focus would be on planting of  species according to area and weather conditions.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2018.