200,000 mangroves planted
As part of a “Rung Do Pakistan” campaign, the WWF-Pakistan and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) completed their mangrove plantation drive in which 200,000 saplings of three species of mangroves — Ceriops tagal, Rhizophora mucronata and Avicennia marina — were planted in Sonmiani, Lasbela district, Balochistan.
Sonmiani’s local community contributed to this drive by establishing a mangroves’ nursery at the site. The initiative aims to not only help restore the lost mangrove forest cover but also build resilience of local communities to tackle climate change and other natural disasters, particularly soil erosion and coastal flooding in the area.
It also aims to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change, regulate water cycles and increase the green cover across the country. The Rung Do Pakistan campaign is an initiative of the WWF-Pakistan, which intends to plant a total of 1.4 million trees across the country by 13 August 2019 through active participation of stakeholders, local communities and passionate individuals.
This drive is being conducted across six out of nine ecological zones of Pakistan, from mangroves along the coast to scrub forests in the plains of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and moist temperate forests in the northern parts of country.
It will be monitored through proper inventory, GIS-based maps showing land use change and fixed point photography. WWF-Pakistan teams will regularly monitor progress so that the campaign has a measurable and real impact.
The WWF-Pakistan had launched the drive on 14 August 2018 under which 20,000 trees were planted. Between 2000 and 2010, Pakistan had lost an average of aound 43,000 hectares of forests (equivalent to half the size of Islamabad, capital city of Pakistan) every year.
With only two per cent forest cover remaining, the country’s deforestation rate is the highest in Asia and well below the recommended cover of 25 per cent. Therefore, this campaign will help reduce carbon footprint and increase forest cover in country.
Mangroves are one of the primary features of coastal ecosystems and are widely spread across the coast of Pakistan. Considered as jewels of the coastline, they are first line of defence against cyclones, strong surges, tsunami and other natural calamities impacting the coastal areas.