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ISLAMABAD: The World Economic Forum (WEF) has asked other countries to follow Pakistan’s ten billion tree plantation initiative.

“The World Economic Forum has lauded our Sept 2 tree plantation drive and asked other countries to follow,” Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Khan said on Thursday.

The Plant4Pakistan campaign was launched on Sept 2 as part of which 1.5 million saplings were planted throughout the country in a single day. The PTI government plans to plant ten billion saplings across the country during the next five years, The initiative follows the billion-plus tree plantation campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the PTI government there the last five years.

The ten billion tree plantation campaign was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sept 2, which was declared tree plantation day by the Ministry of Climate Change.

Talking to the media, Malik Amin Aslam Khan said WEF uploaded a short motivational video on its official Twitter account, asking other countries to follow the plantation model to counter the hazards of global warming and the impacts of climate change.

The video says Pakistan is one of the six countries which are the most affected by global warming. It also says Pakistan has the lowest forest cover in South Asia after years and years of felling and natural disasters.

The forest area in Pakistan is between 2pc and 5pc when UN recommends that at least 12pc of the area should be covered with forests.

In the video, WEF explains that trees cool down cities and help remove CO2 from the atmosphere. They produce oxygen and help reduce soil erosion. The forum asks other countries to follow suit and save the planet from environmental hazards.

“Such recognition is very encouraging and gives more impetus to our resolve and we are committed to continue this drive with more passion and determination,” Malik Amin Aslam Khan said.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018