KARACHI: The Indus Earth Trust (IET) in collaboration with the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) on Tuesday organised the inauguration of the urban forest, based on the Miyawaki method, at the Frere Hall gardens.

US Consul General in Karachi Conrad Tribble, the chief guest on the occasion, also took part in the laying of the forest by planting a sapling.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that mitigating the dangers of the changing climate was not just a priority but a fundamental imperative that resonates at the very core of the US Mission.

“We recognise the profound significance of collective action and partnerships in combating the adverse effects of climate change,” he said, while adding that the AEIF is supported by the US State Department’s Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Environmental activist Afia Salam explained that the Miyawaki forest in the middle of the city was part of an AEIF project.

They organised training sessions which helped prepare a cohort of community leaders, who are now playing a leadership role as master trainers who transfer their learning to the rest of their community members in order to equip them to be better prepared for climate change induced emergencies.

Afia Salam’s project IET aligned seamlessly with the US State Department’s mission to curb the effects of climate change.

This initiative played a pivotal role in mitigating the impact of climate change and reducing air pollution by developing an urban forest and building the capacity of community-based organisations and youth through a Commu­nity-Based Disaster Risk Manage­ment approach.

Master trainer of the Miyawaki forest method Shahzad Qureshi of the Urban Forest Coalition also said that such forest patches in a concrete city will serve as a heat mitigation measure besides assisting in air pollution and noise reduction, and promote the return of biodiversity.

Dr Asma Ibrahim, who is doing monitoring and evaluation of this project, was also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2023

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