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Pakistan is on a tree-planting spree2 min read

December 29, 2020 2 min read

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Pakistan is on a tree-planting spree2 min read

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Pakistan has started one of the world’s largest reforestation programs called the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami. The government is in the first phase of planting 3.25 billion trees. It plans to extend this plantation drive to 10 billion trees by the end of 2023.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations:

The Prime of Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has placed environmental health as a priority for his tenure. Trees have been on Khan’s mind ever since he assumed the role. He has added nine national parks to Pakistan. These were the first additions to be made after 1947. On August 9, he asked everyone in the nation to plant a tree hoping to add 3.5 million trees to the country’s green reservoir.

Why does Pakistan need so many trees?

A worker in a plantation in Karachi. Photo: Bloomberg

Well, who doesn’t like beautiful trees covering unoccupied land? But Pakistan has other reasons, too. It happens to have one of the lowest forest covers in the world—only 5% compared to the preferred ideal cover of 33%! Also, according to the United Nations, Pakistan is among the six countries that will face the maximum impact from climate change through risks of floods, melting glaciers, and droughts. Most of the land in Pakistan has been turned to farmland to provide for the world’s fifth largest population.

In 2019, Pakistan inaugurated its biggest coal mine. 20% of its electricity was raised through the burning of fossil fuels and only 3% through wind and solar power. Fossil fuels are a major contributor to carbon footprint.
The trees could help here, as well! One tree produces 260 pounds of oxygen every year. Now, multiply that with 10 billion. That’s how fresh the air in our neighbourhood could be! Apart from its environmental benefits, this policy will also generate wide-scale employment for the people of Pakistan.

Owing to its climate, trees that need less water, like the Neem tree, are being planted in large numbers all over Pakistan. See what it looks like by unraveling this puzzle—

Image courtesy Bloomberg.