Gilani launches Spring Tree Plantation
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday inaugurated the Spring Tree Plantation campaign by planting a tree here at the PM House and made an impassioned appeal to the nation to make Pakistan green.Gilani planted a “Chir Pine” on the green slopes of the Prime Minister House, an extension to the towering trees that adorn the slopes of Margallas.The Prime Minister prayed to Allah Almighty to help the government achieve its goal of making the country green.
The Prime Minister advised the Ministry of Environment, the provincial forest departments and related departments for concerted efforts to achieve the target.
He hoped the tree plantation campaign would help keep the environment clean, bring down pollution levels and help the country reverse the depletion of forests.
Prime Minister Gilani in a message said forests were an important component of Pakistan’s natural resources and were among world’s unique ecosystems.
He said these were under persistent threat of depletion due to heavy pressure for wood and other forest products. The rising demand on forest land for housing and other purposes has emerged as a challenge, he added.
He said the federal and provincial government governments, continued to make efforts to protect the precious forest resources, however, poverty, population pressure and high price of timber were a hinderance.
He called for concerted efforts to check depletion of natural forests and said there was a need to expand tree cover on farmlands that at present meet more than 90% of household fuel wood requirements.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan was committed to increase the forest cover by one percent by 2015 under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“I am happy to note that Pakistan is progressing steadily in bringing the benefits of REDD to the forest dependent communities and in the process conserving biodiversity and promoting carbon sequestration as well.
He stressed participation of farmers through a comprehensive national farm forestry programme to rehabilitate the degraded forests and for realizing sustained economic benefits for poverty alleviation and environmental stability in the country.
He said water shortage and inadequate funding were limiting factors in developing forest resources.
He called for adopting non-traditional, innovative and new irrigation techniques to promote native and other species that require less water for growth.
The Prime Minister appealed to every Pakistani, the farming communities, and elected members to actively participate in the Spring Tree Planting Campaign by planting maximum trees and ensure aftercare and protection of the saplings.
Chairman of the Capital Development Authprity Farkhand Iqbal during the ceremony briefed the Prime Minister that all-out efforts were being made to make the Capital and adjoining areas greener. A large number of saplings would be planted over the Margalla hills to recover the forest land lost to fires and general depletion, he added.