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Rs10 billion tree plantation project waits PM’s nod

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ISLAMABAD: An ambitious mega project, costing Rs10 billion, on the pattern of China’s “Great Green Wall Programme” to grow 100 million new plants in the next five years is likely to become a reality as its project concept-1 (PC-I) has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat for final approval, sources told The News here on Friday.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will give final approval to the PC-I after which the project will be launched to plant 100 million trees in five years in coordination with the provincial governments,” the sources said.

According to the PC-I, the areas where trees will be planted include Punjab (Rawalpindi Zone, Multan Zone, Kharian, Changa Manga, Karian Wala, Depalpur, Irrigated Plantations); Sindh (Riverine, Irrigated Plantations, Shaheed Benazirabad, Indus Delta, Badin, Urban forestry, Road side, Canal side plantations in suitable site all over the province); Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (Plantation all over province); Balochistan (Jaffarabad, Dera Bugti, Sohbatpur, Naseerabad, Lasbella, Kech, Jhal Magsi, Sibi); Azad Jammu and Kashmir (State and private lands all over AJK); Gilgit Baltistan (all over Gilgit Baltistan).

This programme will be based on “cultivable blank area information” to be provided by the provinces and regions to the Ministry of Climate Change. In this regard, the ministry will provide coordination and monitoring role while execution will be at the provincial and regional levels.    

Keeping in view the ongoing Billion Tree Tsunami drive in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, under Green Pakistan Programme, left over areas will be taken up for new planting sites to maximise the tree cover in consultation with high ups of the provincial forest departments.

The Ministry of Climate Change will be bound to provide reports to the Prime Minister’s House, including quarterly progress report, half yearly progress report, annual progress report, mid-term review and project termination report.

A project — National Steering Committee (NSC) — will be constituted that will meet at least once a year to review the progress and status of budget allocation and releases and also guide to improve working conditions at all levels.

 Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Syed Abu Ahmad said the project is in line with relevant component on Environment and Climate Change of Vision 2025 and 11th Five Year Development Plan (2013-18) approved by the Planning Commission. 

“The project is also directly related to National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The nature of activities conceived in the PC-I vary from region to region, but the approach of the programme is to improve forest cover through participatory and well-coordinated efforts,” he said.

 Climate Change Ministry spokesman Muhammad Saleem said they would also give a detailed presentation to the prime minister over the project that would greatly help increase the forest cover in the country.

“The work on the project will be started soon after approval of the PC-I by the prime minister.

“The four federating units will share 50 percent cost of the project in their respectivsse areas; whereas, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan which never receive financial share from the NFC Award would get 100 percent funds from the federal government,” he said.


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