We will plant 14,000 saplings for every tree enemy destroys, says Zartaj Gul

State minister for climate change says plantation project bore fruit in shape of increased rain and snowfall


Wisal Yousafzai March 16, 2019
State Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul, K-P Environment Minister Ishtiaq Urmar and senior officials offering dua after planting a tree. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Federal Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul has said that Pakistan will grow 14,000 trees for each tree that enemy destroys.

She was referring to the Indian aerial attack early in March at Balakot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, in which few pine trees were damaged.

“We will highlight India’s environmental terrorism in the UN,” she said inaugurating 10 billion tree tsunami project at Pakistan Institute of Forest in Peshawar on Friday.

“If our enemy destroy our one tree we will grow more than 14,000 trees in reply, but will never compromise on the environment terrorism as UN and other international agencies working for environment should take notice of it,” Gul said.

She said that the tree tsunami project, an initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan launched from K-P, was recognised and appreciated on international forums.

She said that tree plantation has borne fruit in shape of increased rain and snowfall, “if we keep growing trees at current speed, we will soon make Pakistan green again.”

Besides mitigating the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change, a greener landscape will attract more tourists to the country.

K-P Environment Minister Ishtiaq Urmar said billion tree tsunami project seemed impossible but he and his team did it.

He said that Pakistan was the seventh most vulnerable country to ill impact of climate change, adding that Pakistan and specially K-P was the most vulnerable province to see the flood and other natural disaster.

Sectary Environment Nazar Hussain said that Metrological Data during last 50 years (1951-2000) indicate 0.6 to 1 degree rise in temperature and 10 to 15 % reduction in rainfall in the southern part of Pakistan.

The project is in line with Vision 2025 of Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform aiming at increasing forest cover of Pakistan up to 25% of the total area.

He added that 10 billion trees project will be completed with an enthusiasm as they earlier did the billion tree tsunami project, adding that although they face tough challenges from the opposition parties, “but at the end we were successful in our aim.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2019.

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