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Green Pakistan Programme Inaugurated

South Punjab Forest Company SPFC News Image

February 10, 2017:The federal governments’ initiative to improve the forest cover of Pakistan through Green Pakistan Programme was formally launched on February 09, 2017, all across the country.

The Punjab Forest Department also launched the programme by planting 1,00,000 saplings over an area of 138 acres across 19 districts of the province. A ceremony was held at Karol Forest, Lahore, which Mian Yawar Zaman, Minister; Capt. (R) Jahanzeb Khan, Secretary; Shahid Rashid Awan, Additional Secretary, Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries Department, Government of the Punjab; and CEO, South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) attended.

For Green Pakistan Programme, the federal government is bearing 50 per cent cost of the project, whereas each province will contribute 50 per cent as a matching grant. Through the programme, 100 million trees will be planted across the country. The programme aims to plant indigenous tree species to conserve and promote the local flora of Punjab. The species to be planted in different ecological areas include Chir, Kail, Deodar, Fit, Partal, Sprouce, Phulai, Kiker, Rubinia, Kahu, Jand, Ber, Fig, Akhrot, Toot, Neem, Frash and other species etc.

According to Mian Yawar Zaman, Minister, Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries Department, Government of the Punjab, ‘Through Green Pakistan Programme in Punjab, Rs. 1,285 million have been allocated, through which almost 5.5 million trees will be planted on 10,000 acres of forest land, across 13 districts in five years. Furthermore, the department will provide 22.15 million trees to the people on comparatively lower prices, which will be easily available at 244 sale points. The initiative by Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab, to introduce the Kissan Package, through which farmers will be facilitated in planting trees, will also contribute to the cause. The government will provide 70 per cent funds, whereas the remaining 30 per cent will be provided by farmers.’

According to Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC, ‘Green Pakistan Programme will be a successful initiative, as it will help to improve the forest cover of Pakistan, leading to the conservation of wildlife. Most importantly, it will help to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change in Pakistan, as the country is highly vulnerable to the phenomenon.’

South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) and World Wide Fund for Nature – Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) also collaborated for the event. WWF-Pakistan also helped to engage the students from Government College University (GCU), who participated by planting trees at the event. At Karol Forest, 7000 trees were planted on 10 acres of land and hoped that the initiative will eventually increase the proportion of forests in Pakistan.

More photos of this event can be found here.

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