Islamabad : Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) has planned to launch seven national parks across the country under the ‘Green Stimulus’ initiative of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project as protected areas for conserving over 650,042 hectares (ha) of forest areas across the country.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam told APP that the project was aimed at preserving the depleting forest cover and dwindling wildlife habitats across the country that would cost around Rs2,400 million.
He said the initiative would help in creating multiple green jobs for the local communities associated with these national parks.
The Billion Tree Afforestation Project implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) alone generated 5,00,000 green jobs including enclosure ‘nighabans’ (guards), plant nursery workers, field staff and workforce engaged in different field tasks.
Amin said at present around 65,000 people were employed on daily wages under 10 Billion Tree Tsunami (10BTT) Project that have been directed to increase three times for achieving the 20 million trees this year target amid the pandemic of coronavirus.
“This indicates the quantum of sustainable and green employment opportunities to be created under the 10BTT project. It will also give ownership to the local masses of the protected area as its benefits would have direct impact on their economic wellbeing,” he added.
To a question, he said the prime minister would launch the project where these parks would be established in Punjab, KP, Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) which would be fully funded by MoCC.
These six national parks, he said were sprawling on the total area of 650,042 ha that would be established as protected areas including Kherimurat 8740 ha (1.34 percent), Sheikh Baddin 15,540 ha (2.39 percent), Chiltan-Hazar Ganji 27,400 ha (4.22 percent), Takkar 43,513 ha (6.69 percent), Deva Vattala 449 ha (0.07 percent), Khunjrab 554,400 ha (85.29 percent).
Amin Aslam informed that Margalla Hills National Park was also part of these six national parks and comprised of approximately 20,000 acres.