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100m trees to be planted under GPP

The federal governments’ initiative to improve the forest cover of Pakistan through Green Pakistan Programme (GPP) 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.
According to a press release issued here on Thursday, a ceremony was held at Karol Forest, Lahore which was attended by Mian Yawar Zaman, Minister; Capt. (Retd) 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 a successful initiative, as it will help to improve the forest cover of Pakistan, leading to the conservationof 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.
The tree plantation campaign under ‘Green Pakistan Programme’ started here on Thursday, in which a total of 50,000 saplings will be planted at different rural areas of Sukkur and Khairpur.
The District Chairmen and other local leadership as well as Local Support Organisations, Village Organisations, students and civil society organisations took part in the Spring Tree Planting Campaign 2017 in collaboration with Sindh Rural Support Organisation (SRSO).
Senior Manager Natural Resources Management, Nisar Ahmed Pathan while addressing in a school, informed the teachers as well as students about the importance of trees for a better environment. He said that the national tree plantation campaign had been launched following the directions of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

APP. 100m trees to be planted under GPP. Pakistan Observer, February 10, 2017.

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