Climate change has been an important and trending topic of late, but it grabbed the headlines in a new way this summer. The urban heat island effect – which causes cities to be hotter than surrounding areas with more natural land surface – is not a new phenomenon, but has taken on more urgency, especially as the world’s population starts to concentrate more and more in cities. And while climate change effects everyone, it hits some people harder than others. So how do we make cities cooler and healthier? Plant more trees!
Trees and other vegetation naturally cool the air around them by shading surfaces and releasing water vapour. Especially in cities with high levels of pollution, trees can improve air quality, making cities healthier places to live in.
Recently, women and girls came out for the Ladiesfund ‘Woman Plant a Tree Day’, held at Moin Akhtar Park in Karachi. As a part of its commitment to the environment, sustainability and climate change, the foundation collaborated with Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, to invite women and girls to plant trees. Veteran gardeners supervised and guided the plantation, and each planter was given a ‘Certificate of Good Citizenship’.
Keynote Addresses on ‘How to Have the Best Garden in Town’ were given by Environmental Authority Tofiq Pasha Mooraj as well as Former National Chairperson of the Floral Art Society of Pakistan Farida Kalim. Spotted among the crowd were German Consul General Holger Ziegeler and his wife Claudia, British Deputy Head of Mission Muna Shamsuddin, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Sheema Kermani, UN’s Saeeda Fancy, Syeda Sarwat Gilani, Spenta Kandawalla, and Frieha Altaf. Shaniera Akram, who was travelling, requested a tree be planted in her name.
DG Parks & Horticulture Taha Saleem opened the event, with an appreciation for the importance of engaging civil society. Tara Uzra Dawood, President of DGF, welcomed all guests. “Women give life and hope and today, the women of Pakistan have come out to give life and hope. Once the women come out, children come out, families come out, and once families plant trees, there is great hope for the future of Pakistan,” stated Tara Uzra Dawood.
– A. Jafri