Pakistani PM Imran Khan’s vision of 10 billion tree planting across the country
*To mitigate the impacts of climate change and restore the country's forests, Prime Minister Imran Khan aims to extend his tree-planting drive from 3.25 billion to almost 10 billion by the time his term in office ends in 2023.*
According to the United Nations (UN), Pakistan is among the six countries that face the biggest impact from climate change. Pakistan's forest cover is now among the lowest in the world that is about 5% of the land as compared with a global average of 31%, according to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
After launching the Billion Tree Tsunami afforestation program in 2014 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province that raised the region’s forest cover to forest cover to 27%, from 20%, PM decided to replicate the success nationwide by planting 10 billion trees across Pakistan by 2023.
Pakistan is planting neem trees that need relatively little water. According to Tabish Hussain, a government-employed forester in Karachi, neems typically do not need to be watered after the first five years, while the other species that have been chosen only need extra water for the first few months.
The PM an environmentalist at heart, says he wants to save the nation, adding that 'God has given us everything, we just need to take care of it'. The tree plantation drive has also provided thousands of jobs in the country.
This year in July, the government announced the creation of 15 national parks across the country under the ‘Protective Area Initiative’ to benefit both nature and people as well assafeguard diverse range of habitats.
In his address at the virtual Climate Ambition Summit 2020, the PM said that Pakistan has decided that by 2030, 60% of the energy produced in the country would be clean energy through renewables.