President kicks off Spring Tree Plantation Drive

ISLAMABAD:President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday launched the spring tree plantation campaign by planting a sapling of lychee at Aiwan-e-Sadr.Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said the President urged the nation to make Pakistan green and environment friendly by actively participating in the national cause of planting more trees.“It is our national duty to grow more and more trees and protect existing forests and trees,” the President said in a message on the occasion.He warned that Pakistan cannot afford to lose any more forests to encroachers.The tree planting ceremony was also attended by senior officials of Ministry of Environment, Aiwan-e-Sadr and other departments.

The President said that trees and forests were an essential part of the ecosystems regulating water supplies and maintaining ecological balance and clean environment.
The spokesperson said that the President cautioned against the continuous depletion of forests over the past several years and called for reversing the trend by strengthening the existing forest monitoring system.He urged to conserve and enhance forest area from existing 5% to 6% within the next six years.The President emphasized on adopting non-traditional and innovative ways to overcome the challenges of water shortage and lack of funds which were the main constraints in the way of forest development in the country.He called upon Forest Departments to promote indigenous trees that do not require too much of water besides introducing new irrigation techniques.

The President said that real and durable development had to be sustainable. Sustainability of development demands that we protect and improve the quality of environment, he said.“I invite all citizens to participate in our national effort to cover Pakistan with trees and make the country lush green. We must realize that this is the only way to achieve the goal of sustainable social and economic development”, the President said.The President advised the Ministry of Environment, the provincial forest departments and all those associated with the Spring Tree Plantation Campaign to make concerted efforts to achieve the target of planting 53.35 million saplings set for the current year in the country to keep the environment clean and bring down pollution levels – APP