RAWALPINDI: Taking advantage of the ongoing monsoon showers in the region, the Rawalpindi Forests Department plans to plant over 1.7 million saplings in the North and South circles of the division.
According to Chief Forest Conservator Northern Zone Ather Shah Khagga, a comprehensive plan for planting trees across the province had been devised to bring as much area as possible under forest cover – a basic requirement to overcome environmental degradation.
In this regard, the forest department will plant over 0.94 million saplings during the monsoon tree plantation campaign, 2019 in the Rawalpindi North Circle. To promote social forestry, he said students would be involved in afforestation projects in the area, adding that special emphasis was being given on the plantation of shrubs and deep-rooted plants on the banks of Murree Expressway to prevent land erosion and landslides.
He added that the main objective of the tree plantation campaign is to create awareness amongst the people to plant maximum trees so that problems of environmental pollution could be controlled.
In this regard, he said they would be trying their utmost to reach the sapling-planting target for their circle before the monsoon season ends. He said divisional forest officers and others concerned had been directed to plant maximum saplings during the campaign together with help from residents, the civil society organisation, officials and students to meet the target.
The Chief conservator added that staffers of the department had been activated to ensure proper forestation in their respective areas which would then be inspected by senior forest officers.
He said forests play an important role in supporting and maintaining ecological systems and cycles. Forests depend on and contribute to the many complex processes that are responsible for recycling carbon and water. They also regulate water flow and protect the soil, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2019.