Green Pakistan Programme to be intensified by Ministry of Climate Change

Green Pakistan Programme to be intensified by Ministry of Climate Change

ISLAMABAD: (APP) Ministry of Climate Change would soon launch a comprehensive campaign to create awareness among masses about make concerted efforts to protect and revive forestry and wildlife resources.

"A national seminar would also be organized in which relevant federal and provincial stakeholders, civil society organizations, corporate bodies and international development partners would participate and help implement the Green Pakistan Programme (GPP) and identify potential funding channels to meet the Rs 10 billion cost of the programme," said an official of the ministry while taking to APP on Friday.

As per directives of the Prime Minister, he said, international donors will be approached through the Economic Affairs Division to contribute for the programme".

To a question he said "As a part of implementation of the GPP, we have written formal letters to the concerned authorities of provincial and Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and FATA governments to roll out detailed project plans that should include areas identified for plantation of trees and programmes for protection and conservation of wildlife species. They have also been asked to submit their financial requirements for implementation of the forest plans in their respective areas."

He said the marathon programme that aims to reinvigorate ailing forestry sector in the country and protect the wilidife animals and plants from extinction, had been envisioned by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, which reflects his seriousness towards tackling deforestation and the negative impacts of climate change through forests.

Under the GPP, over 100 million trees would be planted across the country at a cost of Rs 10 billion during next five years (2016-2016), for which  the prime minister has allocated initially Rs two billion for the next two years (2016-17 and 2017-18).

He said developed after extensive and intensive consultation with all provincial governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, the programme has been chiseled in line with relevant component on the Environment and Climate Change of Vision 2025 and 11th Five-Year Development Plan (2013-18) approved by the Planning Commission.

Highlighting the unprecedented value of the forests for a climate-vulnerable, he

said, "Pakistan is deficient in timber production to meet its need of wood and wood products. Therefore, through this umbrella project, bringing more areas under tree cover and increasing productivity per unit area, can bridge the gap between supply and demand at national level. However, the sustained forests and their allied natural resources will help in balance the economy of the country."

The overall improvement of forestry sector in the country was a continuous and long term process, which needed to be addressed properly at federal, provincial and regional levels through a long term development programme as well as donor assisted initiatives, he added.

He said that Pakistan is among the top forest-deficient countries of the world, having total forest cover of the country of about 5 % of its total land area.