ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is blessed with natural beauty and has immense potential to develop ecotourism, Hungarian Ambassador Béla Fazekas expressed these views on Monday while addressing a ceremony to plant saplings at Gulistan-i-Fatima park in E-7.
He said: “To develop ecotourism, you need to preserve natural beauty and keep the country green by growing more and more trees.”
Mr Fazekas, who also served as ambassador to Pakistan back in 2005, planted two breeds of Hungarian saplings, Turbo Obelisk and Express Willow, in order to contribute to the government’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme.
The two trees, he said, symbolise both countries’ efforts to fight challenges of climate change. Hungary and Pakistan do not have significant ecological footprint or carbon dioxide emissions, but both countries are sensitively affected by global warming, he said, adding Hungary fully understands and supports Pakistan’s efforts towards fighting these challenges, thus its embassy gives utmost importance to tackle challenges posed by climate change not only on a national level, but also through international cooperation.
The ambassador noted that selfish people never plant trees as the shade given by them is for the benefit of future generations and not them.
He said Hungary makes an effort towards increasing its afforested territory; the process is not restricted to forestry and agriculture, but production based on clean energy is also given priority in development of the industry.
“This aim also applies to the development of zero-emission public transport, in which the MOL Group, the parent company of MOL Pakistan — has a leading promoting role in Budapest, capital of Hungary,” he said, adding Hungary supports Pakistan in achieving its environmental goals not only through economy and corporate relations, but with scientific cooperation as well.
He highlighted that the Hungarian government offers 200 yearly scholarships to Pakistani students in Hungarian higher educational institutes. Some of the courses offered at the institutes include environmental engineering, water engineering or mechatronics and so on.
“To support the Pakistani efforts to fight climate change, - which was also highlighted in the recent address of Prime Minister Imran Khan delivered to the United Nations General Assembly - the Hungarian-Pakistani joint venture Silvanus Forestry Pakistan Pvt. Ltd. and the Pakistani Agricultural Research Centre works together to breed tree species appropriate for the Pakistani climate,” he added.
The event was organised by Biolab, the pharmaceutical company responsible for developing the park under corporate responsibility.
Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2020