The federal government plans to incentivise students to plant trees by offering 20 extra marks to students who plant at least 20 saplings, according to Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul. A legislation to this effect is being introduced in parliament and is aimed at integrating youth in the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami plantation project.
The minister, in an interview with the state-owned news agency Associated Press of Pakistan, said the unique effort was being developed to require each university graduate to plant at least 20 trees during the course of their education, in accordance with the prime minister's vision of a clean and green Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed upon the involvement of the youth to address the challenges of climate change and environmental conservation. Last week in a ceremony held to mark World Environment Day in Islamabad, he said that Pakistan's youth was its biggest advantage and could play a role in protecting the environment.
Explaining the proposed scheme, Gul said that additional marks would be given to students for planting trees as part of educational activities; similar to the extra marks given under the National Cadet Corps programme.
She added that the legislation would make it mandatory for a university graduate to plant 20 saplings while the university and district administrations would help in locating feasible plantation sites.
The minister said that under the scheme, millions of saplings could be planted every year which would prove to be a valuable asset for the country's future and upcoming generations.
"Under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan for a clean and green Pakistan, full participation of the youth in the movement to plant more trees in the country will be encouraged through this legislation," she said.
"Programmes like 20 Plants 20 Numbers will not only encourage the youth to be a part of this national goal but will also fulfil the dream of making Pakistan a green and prosperous country."
She stressed that the active participation of all sections of society was being ensured for the success of the Clean and Green Pakistan movement and the prime minister wanted to make the future, for upcoming generations, safe and sustainable through nature conservation.
"Prime Minister Imran Khan, to this end, not only presented the idea of a clean, green and prosperous Pakistan [but] also put it into practice. He has introduced a number of revolutionary initiatives for environmental preservation," said the minister.