Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said that under 10 Billion Tree Tsunami (10BTT), the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) has requested the provinces to increase women share more than existing ten percent share in raising plant nurseries.

Billion Tree Tsunami project implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a successful experiment of enabling women with a dignified livelihood opportunity, he said.

The SAPM said the project assisted them to raise plant nurseries at their household in rural areas which was a new yet difficult task for them.

He said, “The lady community mobilization teams of the forest department used to approach such women mostly impoverished and destitute and educate and train them on how to raise a nursery.”

Amin Aslam said that in Billion Tree Tsunami, the women share in providing and raising nurseries was 20 percent which in 10BTT was 10 percent at the moment.

The monsoon plantation target of 200 million saplings was the largest ever goal set by the government and also the 3.5 million saplings plantation a day under Plant for Pakistan Day on August 9 also had the share of women nurseries.

He said: “Around 324 million plants have been planted and 85,000 employment opportunities have been created for daily wagers.”

The daily wagers include green nighebaans (guards) that protect plantation enclosures under the 10BTT project, nursery workers, labourers planting saplings on different locations. The Prime Minister’s Green Stimulus package also targeted COVID-idled youth including women to plant trees, raise saplings and protect the plantation from intruders, Amin added. The 10BTT project was the flagship programme of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government that decided to set a goal of 10 Billion Tree Plantation across the country with estimated capital cost of Rs.110.0826 billion that includes Forestry Component Rs. 98.051 billion and Wildlife Component Rs.12.0316 billion.

“It’s a Rs.125.184 billion programme aimed to increase the forest cover by planting 3.22 billion trees in phase I; undertake major biodiversity initiatives especially conservation of national parks. The initiative is expected to yield one million jobs in next four years.” This mega project was expected to yield multiple environmental dividends including reducing greenhouse gas effects, lowering cases of random floods and droughts and enhancing other biodiversity and was appreciated at international forums including World Economic Forum (WEF).

He said Normandy Chair for Peace which was one of the largest forums of international environmental jurists and experts also lauded the 10BTT and Green Stimulus package.

The Forum in its appreciation letter said the example depicted by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s green conservation project was also a major part of the new economy, aiming to conserve, protect and restore the Land, Air, and Waters (LAW) of Life which was also called the CPR Economy. It also pointed out that the Forum had also taken stock of engaging of women and children in the effort who would be otherwise doing nothing worthwhile and losing their dignity.

The environment preserving programme was addressing many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) such as, among others, zero hunger (SDG-1), Gender Equality (SDG-5), Decent Work and (Sustainable) Economic Growth (SDG-8), Life on Land (SDG-15), the letter added.