International Forest Day observed across Punjab

Expert says only 4% of Pakistan land consists of forest

Our Correspondent March 22, 2019

LAHORE: About 25% of the land of any country should have a forest for a healthy environment and sustainable economy, while there is only 4% of land in Pakistan consists of forest, said an expert Azam Soraya.

He was speaking in connection with the International Forest Day observed on March 21 across the world to promote awareness and need of forests among people. The day is celebrated to highlight the loss due to the cutting of trees.

Punjab Law Minister M Basharat Raja planted a tree at Lakhoder Landfill Site, Ring Road on Thursday.

Soraya stressed the plantation for saving the environment and to ease the lives of human beings and animals on the earth.

On Saturday, Kinnaird College for Women celebrated the International Day of Forests on Thursday. The Environmental Sciences department, in collaboration with National Cleaner Production Centre, Rawalpindi, organised and initiated Tree Plantation Campaign 2019 on the campus to welcome spring with a fresh breath of greenery and serenity.

A large number of students and faculty members participated in the activity. Principal Dr Rukhsana David, Vice Principal Dr Nikhat Khan, and others planted saplings on the campus.

Dr David commended the effort and urged students and faculty to plant more trees to promote a green environment and help combat pollution. She said that Kinnaird College is committed to protecting the environment and has the legacy of protecting its age-old trees even amidst new construction on its campus for which buildings have been so designed as to blend old trees into its architecture plan. "We should pledge not only to plant trees but also nurture them. Institutions should realise their responsibility and partake activities and implement measures to help control environmental pollution."

Pakistan loses 42,000 hectares of its forests every year and is known to have the highest rate of deforestation in Asia. Tree plantation is a national need to combat climate change, control air pollution and make a healthier greener environment for current and future generations.

Punjab Minister for Environment Protection Muhammad Rizwan said the government was taking steps for the development of forests and a clean and green Pakistan was among its top priorities.

He was speaking on the eve of International World Day of Forests on Wednesday. He said forests were very important to keep the environment clean and green.

"A clean and green Pakistan is included among the top priorities of the government. That is why Prime Minister Imran Khan started the Clean and Green Pakistan campaign after he came into power," Rizwan said. "Plantation is being done on a huge level in the country. Contradictory to the past, all resources are being used for this purpose."

He maintained that weekly cleaning and plantation kicked off in Punjab from March 18. "Along with the cities, comprehensive cleanliness and waste disposal drives are being ensured in the rural areas," he said.

"In order to keep the environment clean, the importance of plantation cannot be ignored. This is the reason plantation is being encouraged on the governmental level," he remarked. The provincial minister said people from all school of thoughts would have to play a role in the success of this campaign.

With additional input from APP

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