KARACHI -

A country-wide plantation drive was launched in 38 cities across Pakistan on Monday to celebrate Earth Day 2013.

WWF-Pakistan received an overwhelming response from various sectors of the country, pledging to plant trees for Earth Day 2013. The pledges to plant a tree have exceeded 100,000 trees. Plantation events were organised in prominent Hospitals, Green Schools, Colleges and Universities, Media houses, Partner Corporations and leading Malls across Pakistan. National Art Competition was organised in F-9 Park in Islamabad where 4,000 students participated in the nature oriented competition. Parents, corporate representatives and teachers participated in plantations at the venue. Centaurs Mall distributed saplings to visitors over the weekend preceding and on Earth Day.

World Wide Fund (WWF-P) Pakistan in collaboration with PharmEvo launched the nation-wide drive in the country. John Maleri, Associate Vice President Earth Day Network invited WWF-Pakistan and PharmEvo to be the official partners for Pakistan. Pakistan joined 193 countries on the Earth Day to give back to Mother Earth under tree plantation campaign ‘Save the planet in a ‘Nise’ way.’

WWF-Pakistan declared April as the ‘Month for Plantations’ and invited people and partners from all sectors of society to plant trees. The official ambassadors of Earth Day included lead actor Adnan Siddiqui; catwalk queen: Nadia Hussain; fashion designer and actor: Aijaz Aslam; television icon: Maya Khan and actor and singer Mehwish Hayat. Thousands of people in Pakistan joined WWF-Pakistan and PharmEvo to plant 100,000 tree saplings across the country including Gujranwala, Sialkot, Raimyar Khan, Bhawalpur, Multan, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Karachi and Lahore to name a few.

The campaign reached far and wide with extensive support from media partners for this plantation drive from Express News and Express Tribune who provided promotion and coverage of several Earth Day activities. Maya Khan, official ambassador of WWF-Pakistan for Earth Day 2013 hosted an unprecedented Earth Day Extravaganza 2013. It was dedicated morning show by to explore and learn about the magnificent and endless bounties of Mother Earth designed by Express News team for this event. Earth Day 2013 Ambassadors were guests at the show. Radio1Fm91 radio media partner invited representatives from PharmEvo and WWF-Pakistan to promote the plantation drive. Radio1FM91 also planted trees at their office and distributed branded saplings to hundreds of their corporate partners.

Major contributors to this campaign were Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who planted 11,000 trees in Islamabad and Karachi. The City School network planted over 5,000 trees provided by WWF-Pakistan.

WWF-Pakistan's project ‘Improving Sub-watershed Management and Environmental Awareness in and around Ayubia National Park" funded by Coca Cola Foundation donated 2,000 Chir Pine tube plants for plantation on Earth Day. Universal Agro Chemicals has donated 250 Neem saplings for the drive. In Lahore, speakers at a seminar held in connection with the Earth Day said that individual realization and collective efforts were required to improve quality of environment. Environment Department Punjab organized the seminar at Alhamra Cultural Complex. Minister Environment Arif Ejaz was the chief guest DG EPA Farooq Hameed Shiekh was the guest of honour.