ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul on Wednesday said her ministry would establish 23 Miyawaki urban forests in the capital which would help enhance the green cover of the metropolis.
She extended her gratitude to Australian High Commissioner Dr Geoffrey Shaw for donating a Miyawaki forest of 1,200 trees being established in F-9 Park. She jointly inaugurated the plantation with the ambassador.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Gul said the Australian government had helped Pakistan formulate its first water policy and was also helping mitigate adverse drought impacts in Balochistan.
She said Miyawaki Forest in F-9 Park was a gift from the Australian High Commission that grew in 10 years with a faster pace compared to a conventional forest that took 30 years to grow.
“Breathing in a good and clean ambience is our basic need and high green cover in urban areas ensures this fundamental requirement,” the state minister said.
Says Australia has helped Pakistan formulate its first water policy
She said over 750 million trees were being planted in the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation programme whereas by the end of the season, we would be able to achieve first billion trees target.
Highlighting the recent enforcement drive of ban on plastic bags in Islamabad, the state minister said citizens would be fined Rs5,000 for violating the ban as the government had restricted the use of single-use plastic or polythene bags to end pollution.Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Australian High Commissioner Dr Geoffrey Shaw said: “The Miyawaki Forest is a gift from his government to Pakistan. Planting trees and plants will make the environment of Islamabad more clean and pleasant.”
He said the Australian government was helping Pakistan to tackle climate change as apart from this region, the entire world was facing environmental degradation.
“We welcome Prime Minister Imran Khan’s campaign to plant 10 billion trees to combat climate change,” he said, adding that the Australian government was working on clean drinking water and flood protection projects in Pakistan.
Talking to this agency, Dr Shaw said Australia and Pakistan were facing equal challenges of water management and therefore both governments had a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in this area.
The Australian government was also assisting Pakistan in climate resilient agriculture initiatives and water resource management to overcome water crisis in the country, he added.
Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2021