Islamabad - The Federal Minister for Climate Change Mushahid Ullah Khan has said that various steps have been taken by the federal government for coordination and to provide guidelines to the provincial governments for increasing forest cover across the country.

Replying to a question in the Senate, he said that the Ministry of Climate Change held bi-annual inter-ministerial and Interprovincial meetings for spring and monsoon tree plantation campaigns.

The minister said, on the directives of the Prime Minister, the National Forest Policy was prepared in consultation with the provinces and stakeholders, which included broader guidelines for forest protection and to enhance forest cover.

Mushahid Ullah said the policy had been approved in principle by the Council of Common Interests in its meeting and revival of the Forestry Resources in Pakistan was a project initiated under the Prime Minister’s “Green Pakistan Programme (GPP)” at the total cost of Rs 3.652 billion in all the four provinces and regions through which plantation of 100 million new trees was being undertaken for the period 2016-2017 to 2020-21.

The GPP was formally launched on Feb 9, 2017, he added. The federal government, he said, had constituted National Steering Committee on Green Pakistan Programme having the representation of the provinces to ensure its smooth implementation.

Mushahid Ullah Khan said evolving an up-to-date monitoring system for timely warning of impending disasters was the domain of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), which was under administrative control of the Aviation Division. On being contacted by the Ministry of Climate Change, he said the PMD had informed that the concept proposal on Strengthening of Monitoring Network and Early Warning System had been approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP).