Go Green – Plantation Campaign
“Establish a green society and maintain a healthy wealthy Pakistan”
Trees have supported and sustained life throughout humans’ existence. They have a wide variety of practical and commercial uses.
Trees are like jewels strung around the earth. They add to the beauty and glitter of our country on the one hand and fulfil our innumerable needs on the other. To plant trees is to ensure for the community unending social economic and environmental advantages. It is bequeathing what our Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) described as Sadqa-e-Jariya.
Trees are helpful to mankind in many ways. Trees can make a city sidewalk prettier, but a growing pile of research suggests that planting more urban trees, if done right, could save tens of thousands of lives around the world each year — by soaking up pollution and cooling down deadly heat waves. They help to improve the environment and make the atmosphere pollution free. Trees can help to control water and wind erosion, serve to regulate temperatures, influence the cycling of nutrients significantly, fix atmospheric nitrogen, and influence biological equilibria. Trees also induce better rainfall in arid regions. They can hold vast amounts of water, that would otherwise stream down hills and surge along rivers into towns. That’s why trees are such an important part of storm water management for many cities.
The constant cutting down of trees has an adverse effect on the environmental balance of the country Pakistan. No serious efforts were made in the past to increase the number of trees. A larger number of trees were cut down, while fewer were planted. To-day, only 5% percent of our land is dotted with trees. It is not enough to merely plant trees in fields and gardens and on farms and orchards and along roads and canals. It’s easier to plant trees in the first place, but once they’re planted, they have to be maintained continually, by pruning branches, protecting against disease, and so forth. They have to be watered, nursed and protected till they are full grown trees. There should be different teams around the areas that can work and check the progress and guard the new trees.
For this purpose, I, Zeeshan Altaf Lohya, the Philanthropist, Founder & President of Z International School and NGO-Own Pakistan with my team decided to work for the betterment of the environment in Pakistan. We have taken the initiative and started Plantation Campaign in Karachi and in different areas of Interior Sindh. I, with my team travelled all the way to Dadu District in summers 2018 and planted 100+ trees there for the environmental advantages. I, Mr. Shakeel Baig (Consumer Chairman Consumer Rights Protection Council of Pakistan), Mr. Saeed Ahmed (Production Manager PTV) and my team also planted coconut trees in the vicinity of Bahadurabad, Karachi under the flag of Own Pakistan NGO.
The aims of Plantation Campaign are not just to sanitize and beautify the country but to sustain a self-generated financing society in Pakistan for future generations. Distribution and growth of the cost-free or less-cost trees to every corner of Pakistan will help to produce enough income for financial credibility. Individual trees and shrubs have value and contribution to savings. If we sow more seeds and nurtured the trees in these years, our future generations will reap the fruit in next few years with high rate of economic stability and with the eco-friendly environment as well. The fruits and wood from the trees can be used for the greater technique of export purpose.
Keeping in view so much significance it would be appropriate to say that plantation of trees play a vital role in the economy of the country. The economic growth of an agricultural country like ours is dependent on heavy plant production and its wide distribution. The trees help the industrial revolution in a big way and provide excellent raw materials for industry. The wooded area in our country is 4.5 percent of the total which is very insufficient. The universally desirable standard is 20 percent. Our annual requirement of wood is about 22 million cubic feet of timber and we hardly produce 11 million cubic feet and the balance has to be imported in foreign exchange. The total area of the country is 197 million acres, of which forest area constitutes only about 72 lakh acres. Moreover, only 47 lakh acres or 2.4 percent of the total has been classified as productive plantation forests. It is estimated that with an increase of 50,000 acres per year in future afforestation program, it will required about 100 years to raise the present meagre plantation area by about another 2.5 percent.
However, Pakistan is extremely deficient in forest resources. The forest area for the last four decades has remained almost static. Pakistan has nearly 4.5 percent of the area under forest. This percentage is too low as compared with an optimum desired level of 20 to 25 percent. Only we can make our country a better place to live in because the key to a greener Pakistan is in our hands.