Islamabad - Deforestation by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is causing environmental pollution which was reaching alarming levels including the distortion of federal capital’s beauty. Moreover experts say that deforestation in the capital is harmful for the environment and that pollution would reach alarming levels if the CDA did not plant more trees in the developmental areas. They believe that deforestation could also cause diseases such as sunstrokes and headaches.
Sustainable Policy Development Institute (SDPI) renowned environmental expert Kashif Salik told APP that trees play a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate through the carbon cycle, removing carbon from the atmosphere as they grow while storing carbon in leaves, woody tissue, roots and organic matter in soil.
Kashif Salik said that after seas, forests are the second largest storehouse of the carbon. He said a small to mid-size car travelling 100Km a week contributes 1.3 tonnes green house gases (GHG) emission per year. According to carbon foot print calculator, planting 4 trees will counterbalance the emissions in a year, Salik added.
A senior CDA environmental wing official told APP that the authority is in a fix, as it has to cope with the growing traffic problem on one hand and has to maintain the beauty of the city on the other. The cutting of trees is resulting in increased air pollution and mercury in the city, he said.
Environmental expert Dr Mehmood Khalid Qamar told APP that Pakistan already among the top ten countries where unusual weather patterns are making major environment impacts, and the situation may further deteriorate in the coming years if attention is not paid to issues related to climate change. Former Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency Director-General Asif Shuja said that due to widespread falling of trees and rapid urbanisation, temperature in the capital city has started to regularly cross 44 degrees in summer.
“It is because of new construction and uprooting of trees,” he said, suggesting that there was a need to take satellite images of Islamabad to gauge the most heat-emitting areas.