PM hails ‘forest heroes’ for saving greenery

Pays tribute to forest dept employee who laid his life while saving forests from fires

News Desk August 21, 2021


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday paid tribute to an employee of Forest Department, who had laid his life while saving the forests from fires.

“On 19 Aug another hero of Forest Dept, Jamshid Iqbal, Forester Chitral Forest Div embraced Shahadat in the line of duty while fighting a forest fire in Chumurkun-Gole Protected Forest Compartment No 01,” he said in a tweet.

Sharing pictures of the area and the forest officer, PM Imran said: “These are our heroes protecting our forests for a Green Pakistan.”

August marks the beginning of monsoon season in Pakistan, and with the rain comes another busy stretch for the country’s ambitious tree-planting programme.

Read Trees worth millions reduced to ashes in K-P forest fire

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, residents of all stripes, from government officials to Boy Scouts, fan out along the hills. They bring with them chinar tree saplings, which can grow to nearly 100 feet tall, along with other varieties, and they begin digging, The Washington Post said in its recent report.

It mentioned that it’s all part of an effort that started in 2015, when PM Imran – the then opposition leader and now Pakistan’s prime minister – backed a programme ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’. The initiative reached its province wide target in 2018 and “was so successful” that federal officials expanded the drive nationally in 2019 with a new goal of 10 billion trees – or, the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami.

“Everyone is waking up and starting to plant,” lawyer and environmentalist Hazrat Maaz told The Washington Post at the time.

The programme addresses Pakistan’s history of deforestation as the country confronts the realities of climate change in the form of hotter temperatures, melting Himalayan glaciers and intensifying monsoon rains.


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