ISLAMABAD - Kicking off spring tree plantation campaign on Tuesday, President Mamnoon Hussain urged all concerned to take concerted efforts not only to protect existing forests but also to enhance forest area to achieve goal of sustainable social and economic development.

"It is our national duty to grow more and more trees and protect existing forests so as to ensure climatic amelioration, water and soil preservation, protection of wildlife, and continuous supply of wood and other forest products from our own resources," the president said while planting a sapling of Araucaria excelsa here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The president expressed confidence that the spring plantation campaign 2014 would further motivate the people and serve to raise greater awareness among public about the importance of growing trees. The president urged the nation to make Pakistan green and environment friendly by actively participating in the national cause of planting more trees.

Highlighting the immense importance of forests as key component of Pakistan's natural resources, the president called upon all concerned to focus on involving all segments of society, especially the children, in this campaign so as to ensure its maximum success.

The president also urged all the provincial governments for enhanced efforts and innovative approaches to stop depletion of forests and reverse the trend by strengthening the existing forest monitoring system, adding that forestry was a provincial subject and the 18th Amendment had further delegated that responsibility to the provincial governments to take care of their forest resources through implementing feasible policies and programmes. He assured that the federal government would continue providing all facilities to the provinces in managing forest resources through financial, technical and capacity support.

Senior officials of ministry of climate change, CDA, Aiwan-e-Sadr, and other relevant departments attended the tree planting ceremony.

Chairman Capital Development Authority, Maroof Afzal, apprised the president that tree plantation had been made an integral part of CDA master plan and the civic authority had set a target of planting 0.3 million trees during the current spring season.