Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam prays after inaugurating Miyawaki Forest at Rialto Chowk on Murree Road in Rawalpindi on Monday. — APP
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam prays after inaugurating Miyawaki Forest at Rialto Chowk on Murree Road in Rawalpindi on Monday. — APP

RAWALPINDI: Over 600 million saplings would be planted in all provinces under the upcoming Spring Tree Plantation campaign which will begin on Jan 15 and all resources must be utilised for this purpose.

Moreover, 20pc of the positions of forest watchers must be reserved for women.

These directives were given by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, while talking to journalists.

As many as 8,500 plants of over 50 species grew up to 8 to 9 feet during seven to eight months in the forest.

We have established nearly 100 urban Miyawaki forests in Lahore and more than 100 were set up in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr Aslam said, adding over 9,500 sites were being utilised to plant the trees.

Wants 20pc of the posts of forest watchers reserved for women

In order to ensure transparency of the project, a website has been created where records will be stored and everyone will be able to access it. More forests in the coming days will be established to provide people with a healthy environment.

Responding to a question about cutting of trees from forests of Kotli Sattian, Mr Aslam said an operation was launched earlier and strict action was taken against those involved in this illegal activity.

It must be noted that government funds were not used to set up these forests, rather money given by donors was used.

These directives were issued by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Monday while chairing the sixth meeting of the Federal Forestry Board.

Meanwhile, during a meeting of the Federal Forestry Board, Mr Aslam said provincial forest departments will be given support in all ways.

He suggested days should be set for tree plantation with the judiciary, media, schools, teachers, prayer leaders, non-governmental organisations and other government and non-governmental sectors under the upcoming tree plantation campaign.

Officials in all provinces must be taken on board to achieve the target of planting trees and a digital dashboard should be established to monitor progress of the campaign.

It was also highlighted that data regarding plantation and other relevant activities must be uploaded timely on the digital dashboard of the programme for public information.

Board members were asked to set up woodlots on private lands in different parts of the country as these could be used for production of forest products besides other things like bird watching, bush walking and wildflower appreciation.

The project director of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP) gave a briefing about the updated physical and financial progress of the project.

The board was informed that over 70pc of the plantation target of 502.5 million, set for the three-month monsoon season 2021, which ended in September last year, has been achieved.

The meeting was attended by forest secretaries of all provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan, who shared information regarding progress of tree plantation under the TBTTP, conservation of forests and wildlife across the country.

A discussion on updates regarding stocks in nurseries and strategy for the upcoming campaign took place.

The meeting’s participants were informed about land that would be used for plantation and when the campaign would be inaugurated.

The board reviewed progress of third-party independent monitoring of the TBTTP by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Members were further informed that $106,000 was provided to the consortium for phase-I of the third-party monitoring and $205 million will be provided during phase-II.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2022

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