Rs 300 bn worth trees chopped off prior to PTI govt in KPK: Murad Saeed
ISLAMABAD: Minister of Communications Murad Saeed Friday said prior to Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs 300 billion worth trees were chopped off from 2008-13 in the province which resulted into massive climate change impacts.
Addressing a seminar while inaugurating Clean and Green Pakistan Plantation drive at Construction Technology Training Institute (CTTI) here said the blatant deforestation in KPK resulted into floods, rise in temperature and environment degradation in the region. “We do not have to save our forests rather contribute our share in plantation across the country,” he added.
He underscored that Ministry of Communications will plant saplings across its 12,000 kilometers roads which will turn the barren roads into green shaded thoroughfares. The plantation would be conducted in collaboration with KPK and Sindh governments, he added.
He emphasized, that People must put their share in Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan Diamer-Bhasha Dam Fund and Clean and Green Pakistan Plantation campaign as these initiatives are for national cause and have religious significance because to plant a tree and feed a thirsty with a glass of water have a greater reward in the realm of God.
He said Pakistan was once among the countries having abundant water resources and forests but unfortunately at present the country has left only a limited amount of the natural resources.
The developed nations, he said are due to their resolve and commitment towards their motherland as they own every single inch of their country. “Pakistan has the best armed forces, human resource and talented youth but it is still in crisis. The reason is that we work individually for ourselves other than collectively for the country. It is hard time no doubt and the country will come out of turmoil. We will have to prefer national interest over our personal concerns then the country will prosper,” he added.
Director CTTI, Col Imran speaking at the occasion briefed the minister about the Institute as it has been developed with the assistance of Japan in 1986 and is providing trained technical workforce serving in the industries across the country and abroad.
He said at present the plantation season has ended but CTTI has taken the task to train and make aware its 2200 students who will serve as soldiers for the national cause of Clean and Green Plantation and CJP Dam fund. He added that whenever the season will get favourable in January or February for plantation the CTTI students will start tree plantation.
He informed that Japanese authorities had established 6 institutes like CTTI in their country whereas all of them have been abolished only the one in Pakistan is functional which proves its world class caliber, adding CTTI is one of the best institutes in the South-East Asia.
Senior Horticulture Expert Riaz Alam deliberated upon the significance and efficacy of plants and how plantation should be carried out. Riaz said that plants have a pivotal role in our environment as they are the only living things that not only prepare food on their own for themselves rather for other beings as well. The food cycle for human survival is based on plants and also helps in absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), odors and other environmental pollutants, he added.
According to a study he said, “Mature and evergreen plants planted in one acre of land can absorb amount of CO2 emitted from a car running 26,000 miles.” He said Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations in its study revealed that 0.6 per cent deforestation occurs every year in Pakistan.
He insisted that if we want to preserve our climate and degrading environment then we will have to plant trees. Saplings, he said can be planted in house residences, house roofs, roadsides keeping in mind types of plants, proper place for a particular plant according to its growth ratio and height.
Deputy Director Ministry of Climate Change Dr Noureen Mustafa said the biggest calamity of the decade in the country was the heat wave in Karachi that caused 1200 deaths in a day. The disastrous increase in temperature occurred due to massive cutting down of trees and forest depletion, she added. “It also resulted into melting of glaciers and water towers that increased glacial lakes number from 2500 to 3000 whereas out of which some may burst causing heavy floods at any time,” she informed.
She said that Pakistan was bearing US$6-17 billion loss per year due to climate change and is as number 7 in the list of countries under direct impact of climate change.
Dr Noureen said that the ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ campaign in KPK created millions of jobs improved forest situation and revived wildlife in the province. The Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC) is developing inter-ministerial relationships at the federal and provincial level to enhance coordination for environment conservation where Minister for Communications Murad Saeed has been actively collaborating with MOCC, she added.
The minster planted a sapling to inaugurate the campaign at CTTI and visited the students dressed in their regional and cultural attires.