Expert calls for growing forests in city
KARACHI: Given the intense hot weather conditions the city has been facing for the past few years, it is important that the government drastically enhances Karachi`s green cover and turns at least 25 of its big parks into urban forests.
This can be done easily with the help of a Japanese method, which is not only cost-efficient, but also requires less water and helps plant grow faster.
These suggestions were put forward by Shehzad Qureshi, heading Urban Forest, during a ceremony held to launch Make Pakistan Green Again, an initiative by an oil company, at a park on Wednesday.
A textile engineer managing his own businesses, Mr Qureshi has done an incredible job by creating a small forest of native species, where one could spot many birds hardly seen at any other place in the city.
`The method named after a Japanese botanist and plant ecologist Dr Akira Miyawaki requires plantation of native species close to each other. This helps plants to coexist and share resources through theirroot network,` he explained, adding that plants didn`t require irrigation because of their strengthened root system after initial three years.
According to him, the small urban forest he has grown in his adopted park in Clifton with the help of sewage took two and a half years to take shape like a jungle. `We only used organic material that includes simple manure, rice husk and bagasse. Plants grew 10 per cent faster and the survival rate was 93pc.
Mr Qureshi, who took inspiration for the urban forest initiative after being deeply moved by the large number of mortalities the city experienced due to severe heatwave in 2015, said his target was to grow 50,000 trees for which he had started utilising more space in the park.
The city of Karachi, he pointed out, desperately needed more such forests. `It`s now a matter of our survival owing to the challenges of climate change we face.
Everybody has to come forward, plant trees and take care of them.
The event, organised by Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited, saw plantation of 1,000 saplings.