LAHORE     -    The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday launched tree plantation drive in collaboration with the Commissioner’s office and Parks & Horticulture Authority (PHA).

Minister for Industries & Information Mian Aslam Iqbal, LCCI President Almas Hyder, Commissioner Lahore Division Asif Bilal Lodhi and Chairman Pakistan Horticulture Authority (PHA) Yasir Gilani inaugurated the tree plantation campaign at Jilani Park. LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir, Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Environment Engineer Khalid Usman,  Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, Mian Zahid Javed, Haris Attiq, Adeeb Iqbal Sheikh, Mian Abdul Razzaq, Aurengzeb Aslam, Sheikh Zafar Iqbal, Arshad Khan and others were also present.

Almas Hyder said that environmental changes were one of the biggest threats being faced by the world. He said that Pakistan was one of those countries where climate change was posing serious challenges due to shrinking forests.

He said that enhancing area of forests was necessary to control temperature, drought and pollution. He said that the LCCI would provide 0.1 million plants to the Commissioner’s office and Parks & Horticulture Authority. “Tree plantation drive is aimed at saving future of our generations as trees combat climate change, clean the air, cool the weather, conserve energy, save water, help prevent water & air pollution, soil erosion and create economic opportunities”, he said, adding, joint venture of LCCI, Commissioner’s office and PHA will motivate others to be part of this most important campaign. He suggested that maximum places should be identified for tree plantation, companies should be given task to plant tree and should be allowed to place their hoardings etc so that people could know about the project operators. Mian Aslam Iqbal said that collective efforts always give results. He suggested private school to plant trees according to the numbers of their students. He said that mosque committees should also be taken on board. He said that inter-districts and inter-towns plantation competitions could also be helpful. He underlined the need for plantation of fruit-trees and said that seminars, workshops and lectures in schools, colleges and universities could highlight the importance of afforestation.

Asif Bilal Lodhi said that forestation has been made a campaign. He said that donation of 0.1 million trees from the LCCI would be very helpful to meet the target of plantation for this season.

“All tools including social media are being used for plantation drive”, he said, adding, plants would be geo-tagged for their monitoring. “We need to create oxygen pockets to give a healthy environment to the citizens and nothing can be better than trees for this purpose”, he said.

Yasir Gilani said that PHA was focusing plantation of indigenous trees. He said that cooperation of social sector was a key to success. He said that mature plants were being planted and those places have been chosen where water and other ingredients were available for growth.