Imran Khan's PTI plans to plant 10 billion trees to fight climate change

Posted by : Admin on Aug 05, 2018 05:54 PM

Islamabad: Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaf (PTI) won last month's election with a high-profile anti-corruption crusade and a promise to transform a political scene long dominated by entrenched family dynasties, where as the environment was not a major election issue.
 
But, the fact remains that Pakistan is the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change, even though it is among the least polluting, contributing only 0.2 percent of global emissions. Pakistan is also one of the world’s most dangerous countries, grappling with terror attacks, poverty, religious extremism and crumbling public services.
 
Imran Khan's new incoming government is aiming to tackle a different problem by planting 10 billion trees within five years to fight the effects of global warming by restoring the country’s depleted forests. As well as releasing more oxygen into the atmosphere, trees can protect Pakistan’s fast-eroding landscape by reducing the risk of floods from melting glaciers in its mountainous north.
 
Imran Khan’s PTI party noted that the impact of rising temperatures, major flooding, prolonged droughts and unpredictable rainfall is already costing the country $6 billion to $14 billion in relief aid and economic recovery.
 
Therefore, it is now imperative to tackle climate change and reverse environmental degradation as Pakistan’s situation will only worsen as the economy grows, the party said in its manifesto. Imran Khan’s plan is an extension of his earlier 'Billion Tree' reforestation project in which around 865,000 acres of trees were planted in the PTI-controlled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province from 2014 to 2017.
 
Pakistan has been engaged for so long by so many other challenges such as the war on terror that has engulfed its cities, suicide bombings and public health. But it is also extremely important that Pakistan ensures to have enough fresh water so that her development does not destroy its own coastline. Pakistan has one of the largest deltas in the world, but it is dying because of climate change.
 
Food safety alert warns consumers not to eat certain products sold in major grocery stores, irrespective of the number of trees planted, it is important for Pakistan, which has so many other challenges, to have the lungs to support country's environment. Nation welcomes Imran Khan’s promise and looking forward to holding him to account.
 
Over 1,250 Pakistani civilians and soldiers were killed by terrorism in 2017, a figure down from 11,704 in 2009. But dozens also die every year from ever more extreme heat waves and monsoon floods. The number of heat wave days per year has increased nearly fivefold in the last 30 years, and the sea level along the Karachi coast has risen about 4 inches in the past century, according to a recent report by climate technology expert Qamar-Uz-Zaman Chaudhry.
 
In addition, its 5,000 glaciers, many of them in the Himalayas are retreating faster than in any other part of the world, causing yet more floods and placing huge strain on rivers and fields. It has also seen rapid deforestation, with trees cleared to make way for urban development and widespread illegal logging.