LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Commissioner, Lahore Division and Parks & Horticulture Authority (PHA) for much-needed plantation.

LCCI President Almas Hyder, Commissioner Lahore Division Dr Mujtaba Paracha and Chairman PHA Yasir Gilani inked the accord. LCCI Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal, Convor LCCI Standing Committee on Environment Engineer Khalid Usman and EC Member Mian Zahid Javed were also present.

According to the MoU, the LCCI will provide 50,000 trees each to the Commissioner Lahore Division and Chairman PHA for plantation within the Lahore Division.

The commissioner Lahore Division and PHA will be responsible for maintenance of plants/trees ensuring their healthy growth. The Commissioner and Chairman PHA will carry out the afforestation drive using the trees provided by LCCI focusing on any area within Lahore Division. The afforestation area may include area along the Lahore Ring Road spanning over a stretch of 85 km. The office of the Commissioner will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the afforestation drive.

Almas Hyder said that deforestation and lack of awareness about plantation was posing serious threat to the country.

“Trees combat climate change, clean the air, cool the weather, conserve energy, save water, help prevent water & air pollution, prevent soil erosion and create economic opportunities”, he said, adding, forests were equally important for the economic safety of the country. “We have to recognize that forestry is an integral feature of sustainable economic development”, he said, adding, by developing forestry as a commercially viable sector, the country could make the agriculture sector stable and valuable.  He hoped that MoU would go a long way in ensuring clean and green Lahore besides creating awareness about the importance of plantation.

Dr Mujtaba Paracha appreciated LCCI for the initiative. He said that other government machinery and departments would be involved to maximize the result of afforestation drive. He said that deforestation was leading to environmental disorder.

He said joint efforts from public and private sectors were need of the hour. He said that around 75% trees in Lahore had been slaughtered during the last 10 to 15 years. He said massive plantation was needed for controlling pollution and smog.