Like other countries Pakistan is also facing natural disasters due to climate change. The intensity of disasters increased in the past few years. According the World Bank, 5% of the country is covered with forests, against a global average of 31%, which include Pakistan one of the six most suspected countries to climate change. In the light of UNDP report Pakistan may face extreme disasters like flood and droughts.
On the World Environment Day at June 5, Pakistan has shown that it is prepared to lead the way in ecosystem restoration with its Ten Billion Trees Tsunami Project.
This project entails both planting and naturally regenerating forests, and might possibly serve as a pilot project for other countries to use nature’s restoration goals to reduce national debt owed to foreign creditors. The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami began in 2018 and rides off the momentum of the previous Billion Trees Tsunami.
Pakistan, which has been rated as the world’s fifth populated country most affected by extreme weather from 1999 to 2018, is likely to see more erratic rainfall, the melting of Himalayan glaciers and greater heat.
The need to feed the world’s fifth largest population means that most fertile land has already been turned over to food grains like wheat or cash crops like cotton. Trees are also cut down to make firewood, though the government has tried to curb the practices in recent years.
A growing population, animal grazing and illegal logging put pressure on Pakistan’s forests, even as the trees are essential catchment for reservoirs used for power generation and irrigation for agriculture.
The matter of threat requires not only Pakistani government’s ownership but also ownership of individuals and countries across the world, thereby financial contribution for mitigation and adaptation purpose.
The government has resaved almost 800 million dollars for the campaign to grow more forest. This Tsunami project is a part of Clean Green Pakistan Movement. It was initiated by the Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2018.
According to the Malik Amin Aslam, minister for climate change, “the government is in the first phase of planting 3.25 billion trees at an estimated cost of around Rs.105 billion ($650 Million)”, said in an interview. Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to extend that to almost 10 billion by the time his term in office ends in 2023.
This project will not only help to restore Eco System and improve the natural assets but will also support livelihood by providing job opportunities. It will create 7000 long-term jobs.