Friday July 19, 2024

Afforestation project increases 1 pc forested area

By Bureau report
January 13, 2022

PESHAWAR: Even with the massive plantation under Billion Tree Afforestation Project, the country could get an increase of nearly one per cent in its forested area, making it six per cent against the 20 per cent standard for any sustainable country.

This was the crux of a day-long exclusive session on ‘Clean and Green Environment and Water Conservation at the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University (SBBWU), Peshawar on Wednesday.

Vice-chancellor of SBBWU Dr Razia Sultana, Additional Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Joudat Ayaz, Divisional Forest Officer, Tariq Khadim, Regional Project Director Amjad Siddiqui and others spoke on the occasion.

Joudat Ayaz said the main aim of the session was to kick off the 10 Billion Trees Project formally with different organisations across the country, which could contribute to attaining the cause of saving the environment.

He said that the tree project had been initiated in 2014 by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the programme was extended to the 10 billion tree project by the current federal government.

The official said that KP is ahead of all the provinces as the billion trees project was initiated here. Before the tree plantation drives in the country, the forest land was five per cent and after the billion tree projects, the area has got a one per cent increase. He added that the 10 Billion Trees was a continuous program divided into phases.

The first phase is from 2019-2023 in which over 3.2 billion plants would be planted in 4 provinces and three territories - Islamabad Capital Territory, Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan of the country and the program would continue till 2030.

Dr Razia Sultana said the university naturally became a part of the Billion Trees Project as it intended to provide a cleaner and greener campus to the students too. She said that the youth of this country, particularly women had great potential and they are agents of change.

The university initiated a Climate Change Cell in 2017, under which a green student society is actively working to raise awareness among students and to hold activities round the year to promote clean and green campuses.