One of the biggest success of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has been the policies concerning climate change and the environment. In this regard. Pakistan has been chosen to host the World Environment Day by UNEP on June 5 which is a huge honour and recognition of our efforts.
The prime minister spearheaded the ‘Ten Billion Tree Tsunami’ reforestation project which reached a milestone when he planted the billionth tree in Nowshera, at the same location which the campaign started. The prime minister has shown leadership which has been acknowledged. Climate Change is a reality and developed countries have yet to understand the gravity of the situation and make serious efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Consequently, developing countries, like Pakistan, have to take environment-friendly steps to reduce the impact of climate change and protect our future generations. It is unfortunate that previous governments didn’t have long-term policies to protect forest cover, wildlife, provide clean water and reduce pollution. Today, we are witnessing the effects as we face a grave water crisis, heat waves, changing weather patterns, rapidly melting glaciers, and severe droughts.
Apart from the ambitious afforestation project to restore over one million acres of the country’s forests, the government also launched a campaign to restore mangroves, develop urban forests, and plant trees in urban settings such as schools, colleges, public parks, and greenbelts. This will support nature-based solutions to climate change and facilitate the transition towards environmentally resilient initiatives.
2020 was a year of reckoning as we faced multiple crises including a debilitating pandemic and the effects of climate change and pollution. We must take steps to move from crisis to healing and recognise the importance of restoring nature for the survival of the planet. The world needs to unite on this cause as it affects the entire human race.
Pakistan needs to expedite efforts regarding tree plantation and climate change. Tree plantation campaign should be spread to dry, arid areas like Karachi which witness frequent heat waves and record temperatures. It is also our moral responsibility and religious duty to plant trees and protect them to solve the problem. This is the solution to ensure food security, enhance water supplies and secure our livelihoods.