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March 21, 2018

Call to plant trees to mitigate climate change


March 21, 2018

LAHORE: WWF-Pakistan celebrated World Forest Day 2018 in collaboration with Environmental Science Department, University of Peshawar, Tuesday.

The event was organised to raise awareness and sensitise students and communities regarding the significance of afforestation and the importance of conservation of natural resources. To honour World Forest Day, indigenous species of trees, including chir, fig, bakain and alstonia were planted around the university campus.

During the event, Syed Kamran Hussain, Regional Manager Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Focal Person Forests, WWF-Pakistan, highlighted the alarming rate of deforestation in the country and its associated consequences. He explained the importance of creating awareness among the masses about the significance of sustaining forests and encouraged participants to engage in tree plantation activities at the household level.

Pakistan is one of the top most countries affected by climate change, placing seven according to German watch’s Global Climate Risk Index, and the consequences are apparent in the form of extreme weathering events such as floods, heatwaves and cyclones over the past two decades. Forests are natural carbon sinks and play a significant role in reducing carbon footprint and curbing global warming. Besides mitigating against the adverse impacts of climate change, forests also provide habitat to animals, livelihood to humans, prevent soil erosion and offer watershed protection.

Deforestation, however, creates an imbalance in the natural climate by increasing carbon dioxide, which leads to global warming. Unfortunately, Pakistan has the least amount of forest cover in Asia. According to the Asian Development Bank (2015), only 1.9 percent of the country’s total area is covered by forest, while an average of 25 percent is recommended. Alarmingly, this is the lowest level in the Asia.

According to Syed Kamran Hussain, “The situation for Pakistan is already critical. We are seeing impacts of climate change from the north to south. Communities are migrating due to extreme weather events and their livelihoods are threatened, leading to various socio-economic problems. But despite this, our forest cover is declining but in order to mitigate climate change we need to have reverse these trends.” Globally, WWF advocates for a transformed forest sector to ensure that vulnerable forests are protected from illegal logging, encroachment or conversion and that there will be no plantations that displace communities or take away their livelihoods.

LTC: Lahore Transport Company started a free shuttle service for cricket fans to reach the stadium with planned intervals.

The LTC shuttle service carried people on 35 AC buses and vans for the Pakistan Super League from various parking points. The free shuttle service will remain operational on the second day of PSL semifinal and the parking points will remain the same ie from Liberty to Gaddafi Stadium, Rescue 1122 office Muslim Town Mor to Fifa Gate, Jam-i-Shirin Park Gulberg to Liberty Roundabout, Boys College Gulberg to Gaddafi Stadium internal loop, as well as Fifa Gate to internal loop of Gaddafi Stadium.

Norwegian delegation: A delegation led by honorary consul of Norway in Punjab, Ms Naveen Fareed, called on Punjab Minister Khalil Tahir Sandhu on Tuesday at his camp office and discussed matters of human rRights, women issues, promotion of peace and tolerance.

The delegation comprised Ms. Siv Kaspersen and Javed William. Sandhu informed the delegation about measures taken by the Punjab government for the protection of rights and welfare of minorities. He said that recently the Punjab Assembly had approved a historic Sikh Marriage Act. The Punjab Assembly also approved the Hindu Marriage Act before any assembly in the country, he added. The delegation appreciated the measures taken by the Punjab government for the protection of human rights and welfare of minorities.

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