Clean and Green Pakistan

Severe air pollution, increasing carbon footprint and climate change are adversely affecting Pakistan’s weather, agricultural crops and economy of the country. Threats posed by global warming and climate change, calls for need to grow more trees. Growing trees would help create wildlife corridors to safeguard biodiversity and fight climate change, boost agriculture, fight and resist earthquakes, increase frequency of rainfalls or help in fighting heavy and untimely rainfalls
Keeping in view the global and national perspective to minimize the hazards of climate change, a Taraqee Foundation has initiated a Mass Tree Plantation Campaign titled as “Chand Meri Zameen – Phool Mera Watan” in Balouchistan following Imran Khan’s government flagship project, Ten Billion TreeTsunami programme. TF has planned the drive with the support of United Nations Development Program – UNDP Pakistan and in collaboration with Forest and Wildlife Department, Government of Balochistan. During the compaign, in Urban areas (25,000 Plants), Maseelakh (42,000 Plants), Band Khushdil Khan (35,000 Plants) Pishin and Nushki (35,000 Plants) would be planted.
In this context, a decent tree Plantation Campaign has been initiated at Band Khushdil Khan, district Pishin on March 12, 2021 where a large of government officials, dignitaries, civil society, tribal lords, local natives, business community, minorities, media persons and students attended the ceremony. On this occasion, a 14-members journalists delegation of Pakistan Council of Media Women alonwith its President Humaira Motala attended the ceremony, on special invite of TF.
The chief guest of the ceremony was Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to Prime Minister for Climate Change. During his speech, he said that the Billion Tree Tsunami Project has become identity of Pakistan in entire World. While appreciating the efforts of Taraqee Foundation supported by UNDP Pakistan, he said that efforts made at local level was highly commendable and role model to follow. He said that such project would also provide employment to the local people. “During my visit to nearby areas of Quetta City, I have identified some potential sites and will try to initiate Billion Tree Tsunami Project”, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Amjad Rashid, Chief Executive of Taraqee Foundation, said that present decade was known as United Nation’s Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030. Taraqee Foundation has taken these initiatives to play its role in achieving the great target which is duly supported by UNDP. But there was a need that other development partners should also come forward and support TF.
He further emphasized that the interconnection between climate change and economic objectives need mass awareness among the public, civil society and government organization. The campaign aims to together all stakeholders including government of Balochistan, local and international organizations, UN agencies, students community, local natives and volunteers for the cause to make Balouchistan “Clean and Green. He said only with the support of other stake holders, TF would expand the campaign of “Chand Meri Zameen – Phool Mera Wattan” and continue to provide safe environment to future generations.
Other speakers of the ceremony include Mr. Siddiq Mandokhail, Secretary Forest & Wildlife; Mr. Qaim Lashari, Deputy Commissioner Pishin; Mr. Abdul Jabbar, Chief Conservator Forest Department; Mr. Niaz Kakar, Conservator of Forest (North) Forest Department; Mr. Tahir Malik, Senior General Manager Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF); Mr. Ali Imran, Director Billion Tree Tsunami Project; and Mr. Allah Dad Luni, President Board of Directors Taraqee Foundation. They expressed their views on the occasion and highlight the importance of plantation and its effects to our environment.
Speakers emphasized that he rise in temperature significantly contributed to the decrease in crop yields thereby shortening the growing season for crops Agriculture is one of the most climate-sensitive sectors because extreme events and changes in weather pervasively affect the crop production. During the past few years, variations in the environment have negatively affected the agriculture sector as the yield of major cereal crops has been significantly reduced by the sudden rise in temperature, irregular precipitation and extreme weather conditions in Pakistan.
Addressing the press conference at Quetta press Club, Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to Prime Minister for Climate Change along with the CEO TF Mr Amjad Rashid, explained that Federal Government would monitor the interventions and also replicate such models in other potential areas. He also said that sites for building more dams is a priority for the Federal government and two dam sites are underconsideration. Answering a question of sustainability plan of sowing plants and water, he responded that all such reservation have been taken into account and all blueprint action plan is in place.
In my 24-years of experience as Journalist, I have witnessed plantation move first time in Balochitan on such a large scale. Though the plateau range of the province is not suitable for growing trees, despite the fact TF and other non governmental organizations accepted the challenge head on. Keeping in view the characteristics of soil such plants have been identified by TF for sowing which need less water and can survive in hard conditions. Such big move need public and government appreciation. Air pollution and extreme heatwave are the common climate change issue prevailing in the area. Creating mass awareness on the environmental hazards due to change in weather is a moral and social responsibility of every citizen. A simple act as planting a tree and inspiring others to do the same can make a huge difference in the long run.
In last I will narrate a Hadith of Prophet Mohammad Sall lahou allehe waslam, “If the end of the world approaches and one of you has a seedling (or plant) in his hand, if he can plant it before the end comes, let him do it.” He also says, “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift for him until the Day of Judgment.”

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