KARACHI - Pakistan Navy, in line with the “Government of Pakistan’s vision of Clean and Green Pakistan” has launched Pakistan Navy Mangroves Plantation Campaign 2019.

Being fourth in the series, the campaign entails an effort to plant about two million mangroves in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan, said a statement issued by the Navy’s Public Relations Department.

In this connection, Commander Coast Vice Admiral Fayyaz Gillani graced the occasion as chief guest and inaugurated the plantation campaign by planting saplings of mangroves at Port Bin Qasim area.

During his address, Vice Admiral Fayyaz Gillani highlighted that Mangroves Plantation Campaign offered a tremendous opportunity to strengthen their unique relationship with nature. “Mangroves have been instrumental in fending-off adverse effects of coastal hazards spurred by the climatic changes.”

As a national responsibility for contribution towards a healthy environment and being a major stakeholder for the protection of maritime domain, Pakistan Navy has embarked upon a major initiative to preserve and revive mangroves forests all along the coastal belt. Pakistan Navy has planted over four million mangroves in the coastal belt of Sindh and Balochistan during the last three years, the statement said.

The vice admiral further highlighted that deforestation of mangroves had not only distorted the biodiversity of their coastal areas but had also adversely affected the livelihoods of coastal communities. It is, therefore, imperative to forestall deforestation through integrated institutionalised measures to ensure sustainable development. He underscored that this plantation campaign was being launched with the expectation that it would not only increase the mangroves forest cover but would also play a key role in creating awareness among the masses on the importance of mangroves preservation and revival.

In the end, Vice Admiral Fayyaz Gillani urged the federal and provincial departments, industrial community and individuals to join hands with Pakistan Navy in this “noble cause” of protecting marine ecology. He emphasised that the whole nation should stand together in its resolve to make this Mangroves Plantation Campaign a success and preserve this precious gift of nature for sustainable development of our today and especially for our future generations.

Mahmood Akhtar Cheema Country Representative of International Union for Conservation of Nature and a large number of senior military and civil officials including World Wildlife Fund, Fishery Folk Society and officials from forest departments attended the ceremony.

Pakistan Navy in tandem with the government’s initiative of ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ has been vigorously pursuing its resolve to make country’s landscape teeming with green cover, the statement said. Current mangroves plantation campaign is one of the many initiatives taken by Pakistan Navy to preserve and revive country’s flora, it concluded.