PM inaugurates first Miyawaki Forest in capital

Published February 18, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan plants a sapling to inaugurate the spring tree plantation drive in Islamabad on Wednesday. — White Star
Prime Minister Imran Khan plants a sapling to inaugurate the spring tree plantation drive in Islamabad on Wednesday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: City managers have decided to set up 21 Miyawaki Forests in the capital as Prime Minister Imran Khan kicked off the Spring Tree Plantation Campaign 2021 by planting a sapling at Lotus Park in Shakarparian on Wednesday.

The drive is part of the 10 billion tree tsunami project.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Malik Amin Aslam, Senator Faisal Javed Khan and Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed were also present on the occasion.

The CDA will plant three indigenous saplings of Cheer, Dodonaea Viscosa (Sanatha) and Bauhinia Variegata (Kachnar) in the Miyawaki Forests to be established in various areas of the city including D-12, F-11, G-10, G-11, F-6 and Attaturk Avenue.

The Miyawaki Forest is a method of tree plantation, which was introduced by Japan’s botanist and expert in plant ecology Akira Miyawaki.

CDA plans to build 21 more in various areas

In this method, trees are planted close to each other and during early period, the plants compete with each other for space and access to light and water, a struggle which results in faster growth. The plants under this method grow 10 times faster than normal plantation.

While inaugurating the first ever Miyawaki project and overall spring tree plantation, the prime minister said unfortunately Pakistan was amongst the 10 countries which were vulnerable to climate change.

He said the involvement of citizens in tree plantation campaign was imperative to make the country green and clean for survival of the next generation. The prime minister said the government was committed to making the country green.

PM Khan said in schools, children would be taught special course to make them aware of tree plantation and environment, adding that tree plantation was not hobby but a vital step for survival of future generations.

He also urged school and college students to participate in tree plantation.

He said Lahore and Peshawar used to be known as garden cities but due to massive construction, they had become polluted cities, adding that during the last two decades, 70pc trees of Lahore were chopped off to make it a cemented jungle.

The prime minister said life expectancy of those living in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar was 11 years less than others, adding that the PTI government had successfully planted one billion trees in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and this achievement was acknowledged globally.

He said the government was committed to making 10 billion tree tsunami project a success, adding that in Islamabad 20 more Miyawaki Forests would be set up during the spring tree plantation campaign.

Meanwhile, sources said the prime minister had also directed the CDA to restore a century-old historical mosque that fell near the Shakarparian Miyawaki Forest.

The mosque is believed to be over 100-year-old and was used as a worship place by villagers of Pairan village, who were moved out of the area in the 1960s when Islamabad was built as the capital.

Since then the mosque is lying abandoned. It caught the attention of CDA recently during the construction of Lotus Lake.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2021

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