ISLAMABAD: Only 2.1 percent of Pakistan had forest cover which is worsening the impact of extreme weather and contributing to tragedies such as floods.
Secretary General Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Mehboob Sardar said this while addressing the plantation drive, which commenced here today at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU).
He said Pakistan was losing 0.6 percent acres of forest-land annually, adding the country needs to plant 1.5 trillion to 2 trillion trees to begin reversing the damage, as one acre can hold up to 2,500 saplings.
Secretary PRCS said Pakistan have retained just 2 to 5 percent of its tree cover. Deforestation will contribute to more lethal floods, disruptive landslides, bacteria-ridden drinking water and stifling air pollution. The country may also become more vulnerable to climate change,he added.
While addressing,Deputy Director Information Technology AIOU Muhammad Qasim Haider said trees are very important for healthy environment and effort should always be to plant more and more trees to keep the environment pollution free.
3-day nation-wide tree plantation campaign initiated by AIOU is a joint effort of Capital Development Authority (CDA),PRCS,Red Cross and Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC).
Under the arrangements, thousands of students, tutors, faculty members and employees of the University will plant saplings of different trees around the country through active support of its regional campuses.
AIOU’s campuses across the country will hold special events about tree-plantation campaign and maximum students will be involved in the plantation drive.
To raise awareness about importance of trees and conservation of environment, the AIOU will also organize walk, seminars and various events throughout the country.
On the first day of the campaign,more than 250 saplings were planted near university area, while on second day,around 500 saplings will be planted near Kashmir Highway.