ISLAMABAD: China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) will plant one million trees in Gwadar as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s environmental campaign that envisions the planting of 10 Billion saplings across the country.
These views were expressed by the COPHC Chairman Zhang Baozhong in a meeting with Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, a press release said. A delegation of COPHC visited the climate change ministry and discussed important issues in this regard.
Talking to the delegation, the adviser said that the government wanted Gwadar to be fully established as a clean and green city so that it could serve as a benchmark for other cities in Pakistan and be an example globally.
“The federal government and the ministry will cooperate with relevant departments in this regard,” he added.
The COPHC chairman said that the researches done by various scientific research institutions, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and others, had been taken into consideration before making the decision.
“The selection of plant species for plantation has been made while giving due consideration to the climate of Gwadar city, soil patterns, availability of water and botanical diversity,” the COPHC chairman said.
“A nursery had also been set up for the production of one million plants, which is capable of producing 300,000 plants per month. COPHC has already prepared 19,000 plants for the nursery including paper mulberry, moringa, castor oil and other species in the nursery.”
To manage the massive plantation target, he said, a committee had been constituted comprising representatives of Gwadar Development Authority, Balochistan Forest Department, Municipal Committee Gwadar and COPHC.
He added that the cost of planting one sapling in Gwadar was more than Rs20,000 keeping in view the severe weather conditions. “Moreover, the survival rate of the plant is less than 50 percent which is a major challenge for making the plantation drive a success.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2019.