The Prime Minister, while planting a tree in the fore-yard of Prime Minister Office on February 09, 2017, announced to observe Feb 09 as the National Green Day every year. The five Chief Ministers and the AJK Prime Minister also followed in planting trees in their respective capitals. The PM also announced that 100 million trees would be planted during the plantation campaign on the day, thus making Pakistan green. It was for the first time in the history of the country that all provinces launched a planting drive on the same day and planted in record number on one day.

It merits a mention, that the National Forest Policy has been approved by the Council of Common Interest. The Green Pakistan Programme has been launched simultaneously in all provinces and federating units. The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has already started ‘Billion Tree Tsunami Project’ in 2014 and has succeeded in planting 600 million saplings within a short span of three years. Currently, there is only 5% forest cover in the country which is very low to combat adverse effects of climate change. Pakistan is ranked seventh among the countries most affected by climate change. The country has faced disasters like floods, droughts, sea intrusions and glaciers melting.

In view of the above, there is a dire need to take corrective measures to address the situation. Also, there is a need to implement and prepare projects while considering international standards.

KHAN FARAZ,

Peshawar, February 18.