ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) in collaboration with the WWF-Pakistan will start a countrywide tree plantation campaign ‘Rung Do’ on Tuesday (today).
PTCL and WWF-Pakistan have recently signed an agreement for planting 200,000 mangrove seeds in Balochistan. The seeds will be planted by local community members at Miani Hor, Lasbela district.
On the occasion, PTCL Chief Human Resources Officer Syed Mazhar Hussain said, "PTCL being the largest telecommunication company in Pakistan, takes responsibility to address the serious issue of deforestation in the country.
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“We are happy to partner with WWF on this significant initiative and are confident on their ability to identify the most suitable landscape and plant variety of saplings that will make a substantial difference in the environment.
"We are also proud to involve the local community in our plantation drive as this will add more value and ownership from the local communities."
WWF-Pakistan Senior Director Programmes Rab Nawaz stated, "Among the top 10 countries affected by climate change, one is Pakistan where citizens can help by planting one tree at a time.
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“Through this campaign, WWF-Pakistan aims to contribute to the Bonn Challenge, a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world's deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
“PTCL's support for the plantation of 200,000 mangroves is the largest commitment from the corporate sector so far."
Between 2000 and 2010, Pakistan lost an average of approximately 43,000 hectares of forests (equivalent to half the size of Islamabad).
With only 2% forest cover remaining, the country's deforestation rate is the highest in Asia and is well below the recommended cover of 25%.
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Therefore, in order to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change, regulate water cycles and increase green cover across the country, WWF-Pakistan has pledged to plant a total of 1.4 million trees by August 2019 through active participation of different stakeholders, local communities and passionate individuals along with corporate organisations such as PTCL.
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