Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated the importance of planting trees, adding that climate change is a threat to our future.
The prime minister made these remarks yesterday while addressing the inauguration ceremony of a tree plantation drive in Mianwali.
The “Revival of Kundian Plantation under 10 Billion Tree Tsunami” is aimed at restoring forests and controlling wilderness, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office read.
“I want all the schools across Pakistan to teach the importance of tree planting. Our youth still does not have any awareness about the importance of tree plantation,” the prime minister said.
“The forests that the English left behind have completely been destroyed today. There were forests on 20,000 acres of land in Kundian. Today while coming here via the helicopter, I could not see any trees in the forests,” the prime minister lamented.
Khan added that the nation does not know the importance of trees.
“I want the youth to listen carefully and to know how important planting trees is for their future. Climate change will destroy our future,” he said.
The prime minister noted that Pakistan is the only country that had been blessed with 12 seasons.
“No other country in the world has 12 seasons or the resources that we have, and we should be thankful for that,” he added.
“In my lifetime I have seen our forests and trees destroyed, and the land encroached upon,” Khan said. “I want the Punjab chief minister to take action against those who have encroached upon the land of the forests and to treat them as criminals.”
It is a crime against our children and their future, the prime minister said, adding that it is now the responsibility of the residents of Kundian to preserve the forests.
“These forests will give you jobs and other resources, which you will realise in a few years,” he said, citing the example of DI Khan where trees had been planted on barren land.
The ministry of climate change earlier announced that it will plant 250mn saplings in spring season.
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said: “Forests have been recognised as the most effective, cheapest way to tackle fallouts of global warming-caused climate change on the country’s critical socio-economic sectors, particularly agriculture, water, energy and health.”
The campaign will continue across the country until June 30.
Aslam said that a target of around 250mn tree saplings had been fixed for the spring 2020 season with the aim to re-invigorate the country’s ailing forestry sector.
These saplings would be planted across the country, most of them in new vacant areas as well as degraded forests, he added.
“Trees help protect soil from degradation and regulate water on farms, mitigate floods, regulate weather and enrich biodiversity. Besides, crops grown in agro-forestry systems are often more resilient to drought, excess rain and erratic weather patterns,” Aslam said.
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