ISLAMABAD -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday inaugurated Forest Services Academy at Ghora Gali under the PM’s Green Pakistan Programme. The academy will provide in-service and post-graduate training in forest sciences.

The prime minister unveiled the plaque of the Forest Services Academy, planted a sapling at the academy’s premises and visited its various sections besides interacting with faculty members and students.

PM Focal Person on Climate Change Syed Rizwan Mehboob briefed the Prime Minister and Minster for Climate Change Zahid Hamid about the features of academy and its objectives to help mitigate climate change and undertake research on forestry. PM Sharif was told that the academy’s first phase had been completed with a cost of Rs59.29 million while the second phase would be finished by 2020. He was informed that a sub-campus of the academy had been set up in Bahawalpur to train the forest officers in accordance with the eco-system of desert.

The PM was also apprised that the academy had been established at a 150-year-old school building, covering an area of 22 acres of land.

The Prime Minister directed to retain the original character of the old building during the process of its restoration.  He also directed to workout provision of supply of water and natural gas to the academy.

The Prime Minister was also briefed about the status of forestation in Bahawalpur’s iconic Lal Sohanra Park, where afforestation has been undertaken on 1,200 acres of land while 5,000 acres would be planted in three years.

He directed to improve the natural environment of the Lake to attract birds followed by completion of de-silting of Patisar Lake.

He also emphasised the need to involve the local people through Community Based Organisations to protect the environment and preserve wildlife.

After attending an International Climate Change Conference (Cope-21) in France in 2015, he directed the Ministry of Climate Change to launch the Green Pakistan Programme across the country. He had also appointed a Climate Change expert Syed Rizwan Mehboob as PM Focal Person on Climate Change in this regard.

Following the PM instructions, the Ministry of Climate Change had started work and it decided 100 million trees would be planted under the programme.

The federal government engaged all provinces to come forward and play their role in this regard. The federal government has also decided to bear fifty per cent cast of the programme and while the fifty per cent would be borne by the provinces.

The PM has inaugurated the PM’s Green Pakistan Programme last month and kicked off the tree plantation campaign across the country.