KARACHI: The Pakistan Navy on Monday launched its ‘Mangroves Plantation Campaign 2019’ by planting saplings at the Bin Qasim port.
Commander Coast Vice Admiral Fayyaz Gillani, chief guest on the occasion, inaugurated the campaign, which entails an effort to plant two million mangroves in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan in line with the government’s vision of a ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’.
During his address, Vice Admiral Fayyaz Gillani highlighted that the campaign offered a tremendous opportunity to strengthen the people’s unique relationship with nature. “Mangroves have been instrumental in fending off adverse effects of coastal hazards spurred by climatic changes,” he said.
“As a national responsibility for contribution towards a healthy environment and being a major stakeholder for the protection of the maritime domain, Pakistan Navy, which has already planted four million mangroves in the coastal belt of Sindh and Balochistan in the last three years, has embarked upon a major initiative to preserve and revive mangrove forests all along the coastal belt,” he added.
Vice Admiral Gillani said that deforestation of mangroves had not only distorted the biodiversity of Pakistan’s coastal areas but it had also adversely affected the livelihoods of coastal communities. “It is, therefore, imperative to forestall deforestation through integrated institutionalised measures to ensure sustainable development,” he said.
He underscored that the plantation campaign was being launched with the expectation that it would not only increase the mangroves forest cover but also play a key role in creating awareness among the masses about the importance of preservation and revival of mangroves.
The Commander Coast also urged the federal and provincial departments, industrial community and individuals to join hands with Pakistan Navy in this noble cause of protecting marine ecology. He said that the whole nation should stand together in its resolve to make the ‘Mangroves Plantation Campaign’ a success and preserve this precious gift of nature for sustainable development of our today and especially for future generations.
Country Representative of International Union for Conservation of Nature Mahmood Akhtar Cheema and a large number of senior military and civil officials, including World Wildlife Fund, Fisher Folk Society and officials from the forest department, also attended the ceremony.
Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2019