Engaging local communities and developing reliable and viable monitoring and reporting mechanisms are of paramount importance for making Pakistan’s the first-ever largest 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, said Malik Amin Aslam, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Climate Change.
“Success of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (BTPP) lies in engaging local communities at all levels and rolling out a trustable and viable monitoring and reporting mechanisms through which each tree sapling planted anywhere in the country can be easily and anytime verified by even a common person,” he told participants of the National Coordination Meeting of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.
Held here in the Committee Room of the Ministry, the meeting was attended by all provincial forest and wildlife secretaries and representatives of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was convened to facilitate transition towards environmentally-resilient Pakistan by mainstreaming notions of adaptation and mitigation through ecologically-targeted initiatives covering afforestation, biodiversity conservation and enabling policy-environmental.
Highlighting the importance of the 10 Billiont Tree Tsunami programme, which envisions Prime Minister Imran Khan’s heightened interest in environmental conservation through afforestation activities, The prime minster’s advisor on climate change Malik Amin Aslam said the programme is at the heart of the present Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government and prime minister Imran Khan’s vision for environmental conservation and protection in the country.
“The significant feature of the programme is to plant ten billion trees across country through a phased approach. The programme has been designed and will be implemented after thorough consultation with the provinces. The tree plantation component of the programme is a replication of the successfully completed model of ‘Billion Tree Afforestation Project’ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The outcomes of BTAP have been duly acknowledged by United Nations Environment Programme, Bonn Challenge and other international bodies and fora,” Malik Amin Aslam told the meeting participants.
Amin Aslam stressed, “We all provincial stakeholders, Gilgigt-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir governments have to work hand in hand with all environmental stakeholders to boost Pakistan’s environmental protection and climate resilience against all local fallouts of the global warming-induced climate crisis in the country’s various socio-economic sectors, particularly agriculture, water, health, energy, education, livelihoods and employment.”
Spelling out component of the BTTP Programme, he said the world’s largest afforestation programme in Pakistan focuses on enhancement of the forest cover by adding 3.29 billion indigenous plants through afforestation, reforestation and regeneration over next four (04) years (2019-20 to 2022-23) to curb the impacts of climate change.
However, the priority areas for the purpose include conservation and enhancement of natural forests through assisted natural regeneration, road and canal side plantation, rehabilitation and re-stocking of historical plantations, restoration and improvement of scrub forests, increase in existing cover of mangrove forests, watershed and soil conservation in hilly and river catchment areas (reserved as well as community forests, rehabilitation of guzara and protected forests, protection and augmentation of dry temperate forests, the prime minister’s advisor Malik Amin Aslam elaborated.
Malik Amin Aslam said that the importance of forests cannot be underestimated.
“We depend on forests for our survival, from the air we breathe to the wood we use. Besides providing habitats for animals and livelihoods for humans, forests also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion and mitigate climate change,” he underlined.