Islamabad - Oxfam’s nationwide campaign ‘Youth ka Green Pakistan’ launched its tree plantation drive today in 20 government colleges with the aim to plant over 4,000 trees.

The campaign which began on August 7 encourages Pakistani youth to take small actions towards making Pakistan a safe space and address environmental issues.

On August 12, International Youth Day and August 14, Pakistan’s independence were celebrated as part of the campaign to inspire youth to work towards a cleaner, greener and safer Pakistan.

To inaugurate the first tree plantation activity, Oxfam’s Programme Quality and Funding Director Uzma Aftab planted a tree at Islamabad Model College for Girls, F-7/4 and Oxfam’s Programme Director Adeel Qaiser planted tree at Islamabad College for Boys, G-6/3 along with College Principals, faculty members and students.

Speaking to the participants, Uzma Aftab said, “Pakistan’s youth, which make up 64% of the population, are the most important actors in driving change. Youth are today’s active citizens and tomorrow’s leaders”, she said.

Oxfam’s ‘Youth Ka Green Pakistan’ campaign encourages young people to both share their perspectives on the kind of future they want to see for their country and take active part in creating such a future.

At the Islamabad Boys College, Programme Director Adeel Qaiser stressed the importance of aftercare of the planted trees.

He said, “I am happy to see such active participation of our youth. We need to take this tree plantation movement to scale that makes our part of the globe a healthier place to live for future generations.”

The campaign is being led by Oxfam’s Empower Youth for Work team led by Seher Afsheen and activities will continue till end of August. Appreciating the efforts of the volunteers, Afsheen said, “Through this campaign, we hope to utilise the energy, strength and creativity of youth and encourage them to take lead in building their own future which is physically and environmentally safe, inclusive and conducive to growth.”Pakistan is among the countries that are hit hardest by the effects of climate change.

The campaign focuses on two major themes, environment and the spirit of humanitarianism. Under the theme of environment, young people will be encouraged to take the lead in reducing water wastage, improving solid-waste management and planting more trees while under theme of humanitarianism, youth who have taken actions for the welfare of humanity will be recognized and celebrated.

The campaign ties in with the EYW project’s existing campaign titled Clean and Green Pakistan, which includes tree plantations and clean-up drives.

An ongoing digital campaign on social media allows youth to take photos of their efforts and post them with the hash tag #YouthKaGreenPakistan.

This campaign is a collaborative effort with federal government colleges in Islamabad, social ECHO youth group and NARC and other plant nurseries that graciously provided all the plants free of cost. This tree plantation drive will not only promote the spirit of protecting the environment but will also encourage a sense of social responsibility and self-reliance for sowing the seeds of a better tomorrow for our future millennial generation.