MoCC to hold ‘Plant for Islamabad’ day on April 3

Climate change ministry to conduct weekly briefings

Our Correspondent March 30, 2019
Climate change ministry to conduct weekly briefings. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry for Climate Change has decided to hold weekly meetings every Friday along the same lines as the weekly briefing by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The ministry will also plant over 100,000 trees in the federal capital next week.

This was announced by the Ministry of Climate Change’s (MoCC) Additional Secretary Babar Hayat Tarar on Friday, during the inaugural weekly briefing of the ministry.

While talking to the media, Tarrar said that the project concept-I (PC-I) of the 10 billion tree tsunami programme will be finalised soon.

For this project, 50% of the funding will be provided by the federal government while the remaining funds will be provided by the individual provinces.

"The federal and provincial governments, different corporate entities, development sector, civil society particularly non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been working on clean and green initiatives in silos,” he said, adding, “We have tried to synergise their efforts for better and sustainable outcomes under the Clean, Green Pakistan project.”

He added that the ministry has signed memorandum of understandings (MOUs) with corporate partners, NGOs and civil society to collectively work under the project.

Tarrar further announced that the ministry had decided to mark April 3 as ‘Plant for Islamabad’ Day. As part of the day, he said that the ministry will plant over 200,000 saplings across the federal capital, including some 10,000 saplings on land of the botanical garden in Bani Gala which the Zoological Survey of Pakistan had recently recovered.

"The 10,000 saplings initially would be planted over six acres of the total 725 acres of land recouped by the ZSP,” he said.

"This time we are going to plant indigenous species of the federal capital in the plantation campaign including Acacia modesta (Phulai) in the first phase later on other four to five indigenous species would also be included in the plantation," Tarrar said, noting that this will provide some respite to residents who suffer from annual allergy due to the high amount of pollen produced by the mulberry and paper mulberry trees and grass.

Moreover, he said that they also intend to plant fruit-bearing plants in the city.

To aid them in this effort, ministry said that over 1,000 volunteers from local educational institutions, including 150 students of COMSATS and 150 from the Islamabad Dental College will partake in the plantation campaign.

The MoCC Additional Secretary MoCC informed that the corporate partner of the ministry Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) would provide saplings for the drive.

“We had planned to set a target of 200,000 plants during the drive across the city, but we will first try to plant 100,000 saplings,” he said.

Tarrar went on to say that the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC), the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the PTC will also set up nursery points in various parts of the federal capital to distribute free saplings amongst the public. The IMC has also planned a cleanliness drive to mark the day.

Tarrar said that like ‘Plant for Islamabad’ day, similar plantation days will be held for every city and district of the country with their particular name.

He added that they were planning on swiftly planting trees across the country as part of the 10 billion trees programme.

Furthermore, Tarrar said that they were also working to retrieve state land which had been encroached upon by land mafia.

Noting that caring for the environment was a collective job, he said that they were working on a plan to make the people aware of the importance of planting trees.  For this purpose, he said that they had partnered with Islamabad’s administration to coopt the help of religious clerics and scholars.

The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration have taken some 400 ulema of different schools of thought on board.

“Ulema have a key role to play in motivating and apprising masses for social good and prosperity whereas it was a huge public and global welfare project for which their significance had been acknowledged,” the additional secretary said.

Islamabad Additional Deputy Commissioner General Bilwal Abro told the media that they had held a meeting with the Ulema at Faisal Mosque where religious scholars from all school of thoughts were invited and sensitised over the Clean, Green Programme.

He said that they session focused awareness of masses through religious leaders as they had large number of followers.

Moreover, he said that they are working on six programmes under the Clean and Green Pakistan programme

They have turned the ministry’s building plastics-free and are now trying to make the entire secretariat plastic-free.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2019.

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