KARACHI   -   The Sindh government has sought support of the industrialists, businessmen, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to promote the concept of urban forestry in Karachi under which extensive tree plantation will be done on both sides of Malir and Lyari Rivers.

The Sindh Government’s Secretary for Forest and Wildlife Abdul Rahim Soomro said this while speaking at a reception held here in recognition of the recipients of the 7th FPCCI Achievement Awards-2019. The CSR Club of Pakistan and National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) jointly organized the programme.

Addressing on the occasion, the Sindh Forest Secretary sought the support of industrialists, businessmen, and NGOs to plant one billion trees by the provincial Government in next four years as part of its share in the Prime Minister’s initiative to plant 10 billion trees in the country. He said that the government alone could not meet reforestation requirements of the province to safeguard its environment. He said that the industrialists of the city were under solemn obligation to actively contribute towards the tree plantation initiatives as the industries run by them accounted for major part of the environmental pollution either in the form of hazardous carbon emissions or through untreated effluents discharged into sea. The Forest Secretary lamented that the project of installation of combined effluent treatment plants for industries of Karachi had been first conceived in 1985 but since then it could not be implemented.

He said that if one drove towards the main industrial estates of Karachi including SITE, he or she would find out that these zones within the city were completely deprived of tree cover as this situation had to be reversed with the support of the industrialists concerned.

NFEH President Naeem Qureshi said that platforms of his NGO and that of the CSR Club were fully available to do coordination and seek support of the stakeholders concerned so that Sindh would be able to plant trees. 

He said that concerned NGOs and industrialists in the city would wholeheartedly support the Sindh Forest Department’s initiative to plant trees on the banks of Lyari and Malir Rivers in the city as it would massively add towards beautification and revival of the lost glory of Karachi.

Senior Vice President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry Mirza Ikhtiar Baig , addressing on the occasion suggested that the government should adopt a legislation, which would make it mandatory that the profit-making commercial entities should allocate two per cent of their annual net profits for undertaking their obligations related to the Corporate Social Responsibility  (CSR).