‘Ten Billion Tree Tsunami’ project comes under limelight

Billion tree Tsunami

A flagship project of the current government is now receiving international attention as the efforts towards green Pakistan were first praised by the global community, including Saudi Arabia. This time Pakistan’s ten billion tree project has been featured in a US’s Washington Post 

Relevant Read: Pakistan sets news world record by planting 50,000 saplings in one minute

“It’s all part of an effort that started in 2015 when Imran Khan — then a provincial politician and now Pakistan’s prime minister — backed a program dubbed a “Billion Tree Tsunami.” The initiative reached its province-wide target in 2018 and was so successful that federal officials expanded the drive nationally in 2019 with a new goal of 10 billion trees — or, the “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami.”,  reads the article from Washington Post

Pakistan has shown that the country is prepared to lead the way in ecosystem restoration with its Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project. The ambitious project- which is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – sets out to plant ten billion trees by 2023. Launched in 2019, the project has just reached a new milestone – planting of the billionth tree.

This year also sees the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 and projects such as the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami are key to preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. 

“Large scale restoration initiatives such as The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project are central to Pakistan’s efforts to support the UN Decade and to increase ecosystem restoration,” said Dechen Tsering, UNEP’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, “We are at a point in history where we need to act and Pakistan is leading on this important effort.”  

Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Bloomberg estimates that only five per cent of the country has forest cover, against a global average of 31 per cent, making it one of the six countries most suspectable to climate change.

According to a UNDP report, Pakistan is particularly suspectable to increased variability of monsoons, receding Himalayan glaciers and extreme events including floods and droughts. The knock-on effects of these will be an increase in food and water insecurity. 

It is a problem the Pakistan government is aware of and is looking at urgently addressing. As well as the TBTTP the government has committed to increasing its Protected Areas to 15 per cent by 2023 (in 2018 they stood at 12 per cent and today they stand at over 13 per cent).

The environmental problems in Pakistan are exacerbated by its large population, it is the fifth most populous country in the world, which puts increasing strain on the environment. Additionally, according to the World Bank over 24 per cent of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty, which puts them at greater risk to impacts of climate change. This is largely because they have a higher dependency on natural resources and are less able to cope with climatic variability

The “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, Phase-I” is a four-year (2019-2023) project by Government of Pakistan with the total cost of 125.1843 billion. The project is being implemented across Pakistan by the Ministry of Climate Change along with Provincial and territorial Forest and Wildlife departments. The Prime Minister of Pakistan inaugurated this Programme on 2nd September 2018 during “Plant for Pakistan Day”.

The overall objective of “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme” is to revive Forest and Wildlife resources in Pakistan, to improve the overall conservation of the existing Protected Areas; encourage eco-tourism, community engagement and job creation through the conservation.

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