Pakistan must push efforts to catch up with ecotourism.

 
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Byline: Khalil Ahmed

It is a gorgeous feeling to know that Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Imran Khan, has launched a campaign of ten-billion 'tree tsunami' in Pakistan as a response to the challenge of global warming. Prior to it, way back in 2014, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa led by the PTI initiated 'billion tree tsunami' to tackle the adverse environmental impact. These initiatives are gracious endeavors by any government in the history of Pakistan.

'Plant for Pakistan', an afforestation drive, is a befitting reply to the current deforestation in Pakistan. In case the ongoing deforestation does not stall in Pakistan, the country may encounter irreparable loss in the decades to come. It is presumed that the annual deforestation rate at 0.5% per year in Pakistan is the highest in Asia, which is an alarming sign. Ideally, forests should cover at least 25% of the total area of a country whereas barely 3% of Pakistan's land is covered with forests contrary to 33% at the time of the establishment of Pakistan. Forestscurrently cover about 30% of the world's landmass across the globe, however, the situation in Pakistan is contrary. There is precipitous deforestation in Pakistan particularly over the period of last three decades which is detrimental for our ecosystem. This unabated deforestation is attributed to the climatic havoc in Pakistan recently experienced by the populace.

It is believed that approximately 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation which is leading to a kind of Armageddon and the world is at risk currently.

We must be cognizant of the reality that Pakistan is seventh on the list of the countries to have adverse impact of global warming. So we cannot afford to be complacent in this regard. It would be smashing coup of the incumbent government in case the drive to plant 10 billion trees in five years materializes to make the country green. Hats off to the initiators of this cause which would indeed benefit our descendants and the government would get acclamation, and accolades and adulation not only from within the country but also from across the world since it is to save the entire world. Horticulturists argue that the trees planted today will bear fruit after two to three decades so it is high time to start planting today since it would contribute enormously to the reduction of carbon emissions, which is the primary concern at this juncture globally.

Precipitous global deforestation over the...

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