Tree plantation drive

Published February 25, 2022

ANOTHER spring and monsoon tree plantation drive has kicked off in a number of cities in continuation of the federal government’s flagship 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project. Since its launch in September 2018, the project has made some progress and won international recognition. The World Economic Forum launched its One Trillion Trees initiative in January 2020 modelled after the Pakistani project. There is no doubt that progress on the plantation drive has been on track. The federal climate change ministry hopes to have planted at least 541m trees by the close of this year and 3.9bn trees by the end of 2023. With one of the highest deforestation rates — between 0.2pc and 0.5pc — the country is bound to benefit from the plantation drive in the long run. The project might also prove to be decisive in improving the country’s forest cover that currently stands at just below 6pc, as opposed to the internationally recommended 25pc. However, despite the success of the campaign so far, there are big questions that remain unanswered. For instance, what has the PTI government done to check the activities of the timber mafia that has shown few signs of stopping its destructive activities? In 2014, the PTI-led government in KP, in fact, removed the decades-old ban on forest cutting. Ironically, the same government, after the ‘successful’ execution of the Billion Tree Tsunami project — the predecessor of the ongoing project — had also claimed to raise the national forest cover.

On the other hand, NAB in 2020 had launched multiple investigations into the provincial-level 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project on grounds of alleged abuse of authority, misuse of funds and problematic survival of the planted saplings. It takes several years for a sapling to become a tree and they must be protected. Unless these problems are addressed by the authorities, the success of the plantation drive will remain limited even if the government exceeds its target of planting tens of billions of saplings across the country.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Royal tantrum
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Royal tantrum

The PML-N's confrontational stance and overt refusal to respect courts orders on arguably flimsy pretexts is a dangerous sign.
Bangladesh chaos
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Bangladesh chaos

The unfortunate events playing out in Bangladesh should serve as a warning sign for other South Asian states.
Fitch’s estimate
20 Jul, 2024

Fitch’s estimate

FITCH seems to be more optimistic about Pakistan accelerating its economic growth rate to 3.2pc during this fiscal...
Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...