ISLAMABAD - The federal government has approved an amount of Rs 125 billion for the plantation of 3.29 billion trees in a period of four years under the Ten Billion Tree Plantations Programme, officials of Ministry of Climate Change informed the National Assembly Committee on Climate Change here on Monday.

The committee meeting was held in the Parliament House under the chairpersonship Munaza Hassan, MNA.

Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, apprised the Committee that under the Ten Billion Tree Plantation Program in the first phase the federal government has approved an amount of Rs.125 billion for plantation of 3.29 billion trees in a period of four years.

He further informed that the government is keen to establish a permanent roundtable on climate change, agriculture and food security for raising public awareness.

Agriculture and climate change sector contribute 18.9% to the GDP

The representative of Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) briefed the Committee that the main function of the GCISC is the research on climate change profiles of Pakistan, climate change impact assessment in different socio-economic sectors and identification of appropriate adaptation strategies, capacity building of scientists and dissemination of research findings to scientific community.

He said the agriculture and climate change sector has been contributing 18.9% to the GDP. The major climatic impacts include the loss in crop yields, shortening of growing season length, increased evapotranspiration, increased land degradation etc. He informed that GCISC has been engaged with Federal and Provincial Agricultural research and extension institutions to develop research and outreach program to build resilience in the farming sector.

The Committee recommended that the data based digitalization mechanism for tree plantation should be initiated with the coordination of relevant departments. The Committee also recommended that the Parliamentarians and the local representatives should be involved in the tree plantation programs being carried out in their respective constituencies.

The Committee further recommended that the water policy 2017 should be submitted for the consideration of the Committee. The Committee also suggested that the agricultural manifesto should be constituted in collaboration with the local and international agricultural universities.

The meeting was attended by Khial Zaman, Rai Muhammad Murtaza Iqbal, Andleeb Abbas, Engr. Sabir Hussain Kaim Khani, Shaista Pervaiz, Ms. Zahra Wadood Fatemi, and Afreen Khan MNA’s beside senior officers from the Ministry of Climate Change, Vice Chancellor of Agriculture University, Faisalabad, Representatives of other Agriculture Universities and Forest Departments of Punjab and Sindh.