QUETTA: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Environment and Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Saturday said that Pakistan was among 10 top countries where global warming was affecting the environment and Balochistan was facing negative effects of drought due to very less rains and snowfall during this year’s winter season.

Speaking at a press conference here, he said that the federal government would extend all-out support to the Balochistan government for bringing the province out of the worst effects of global warming and the drought-like situation.

Balochistan Forest Secretary Mohammad Sadiq Mandokhail, Director General (Environment) Wali Mohammad Kakar and Chief Executive of Taraqee Foundation Amjad Rashid were also present on the occasion.

Mr Aslam said that under the clean and green Pakistan programme of Prime Minister Imran Khan 100 million trees would be planted in Balochistan till 2023 and six cities of the province, including Quetta and Ziarat, had been included in the Green Clean Pakistan project. The federal government, he added, would also provide special funds for establishing two national parks in Hazarganji and Harboi area of Kalat district.

All-out support to be extended to province to deal with drought-like situation

“We have a plan to construct new dams at different areas of the province to store rainwater for reducing worst effects of the drought-like situation in Balochistan,” Mr Aslam said, adding that trees would be planted on a 2,000-acre area in and around Quetta. He said Sui gas would be provided to Ziarat and other areas to protect Juniper forest.

He promised that he would talk to PM Khan for providing LPG at lower price in different areas of the province where Sui gas was not available. Balochistan would be included in the proposed underground water recharge project, he added.

He said Balochistan was very much affected by famine and drought. Due to climate change, temperature in Pakistan is increasing by one degree Celsius on an annual basis. Dangerous effects of climate change are emerging in Balochistan. “In Balochistan, the forest department has set a target of planting 100 million trees, but I think that is not enough. It needs to be further expanded to secure the future of the province,” he added.

Mr Aslam said mangroves were being planted in coastal areas of the province.

The Balochistan forest department will take steps to save and enhance Chilgoza forests in Zhob and surrounding areas and in this connection the local people will be made partners and trees will be planted around 70 dams in the province.

Referring to provide clean environment, he said the government was working for the solid and liquid waste management in Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2021

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