M. Sameer/AK Mohsin
KARACHI: Forest and Wildlife Department, Government of Sindh and IUCN Pakistan jointly commenced the Spring Plantation Campaign of the Sindh Province at Keti Bunder on Thursday. The event attracted senior Government officials of the Forest and Wildlife Department, Media and IUCN Staff.
The Keti Bunder site for the Spring Plantation was selected due to its significance as a unique in being the largest arid climate mangroves in the world. The site is also significant as Pakistan set a Guinness World Record by the Sindh Forest Department on June 22, 2013 for planting a maximum number of mangroves saplings at Keti Bunder.
While briefing media Riaz Wagan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of Sindh said that the Spring Plantation is taking place in all the districts of Sindh under the Green Pakistan Programme with the theme of local species. He said that 5000 mangrove saplings are being planted by the local community volunteers at Keti Bunder today. He further said that eight species of mangroves were found in the Indus Delta but unfortunately four of the species have become extinct and presently only four species exit in the delta now. Agha Tahir, Project Director, Sea Intrusion Programme, Government of Sindh also spoke on the occasion and informed about the benefits of the local species in the coastal areas of Sindh.
Dr. Babar Hussain, NRM Coordinator, IUCN Pakistan also briefed the media on the benefits of mangroves and the role of local communities in protecting the mangrove forest.
To withstand the challenges of deforestation and Climate Change, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has taken the initiative to launch a Program called “Green Pakistan Programme” across the country. The programme targets to add 100 million plants over the next five years all over the country. This includes one thousand avenue miles of Canal Side & Roadside Plantations in Punjab, KP and Sindh, plantations in Changa Manga, Darphar, Bahawalpur and Chichawatni. Mangroves forests in Karachi and Badin along with hill forests of Khirthar Range in Sindh, Juniper forests of Ziarat and Chilghoza forest in Suleiman Ranges of Balochistan and areas in GB, AJK, Muree, Hazara, KotliSattian, Malakand, Fata (Orakzai, North Waziristan, etc) are some of the locations for plantations. The programme will be implemented during the period 2016 -2021. The objective of the Programme is to improve forest and wildlife sectors in the country in line with the best international approach and practices. Protection and management of wildlife and reclaiming and developing forest areas are the main aspects of the programme.
In this context the Government of Balochistan has organized a series of events to launch the programme in the province by planting trees at various venues in Quetta and other districts. As a part of the campaign a total of 3,546 plants have been planted in Quetta and other districts till 9th February 2017.
IUCN Balochistan programme provide full support and cooperation in organizing of the planned activities. IUCN part in these events would be to provide human resource, ensure media coverage, provision of banners, and active participation. In addition, The Balcohistan Programme Manager, Faiz Kakar delivered a short speech on the importance of Forestation and Environment on the occasion.
IUCN Islamabad Office joined the Capital Development Authority, Islamabad in the nationwide Spring Plantation the Rose and Jasmine Garden, Islamabad. IUCN Pakistan put up stalls to display its publications and material.
Spring Plantation kick-off in Sindh at Keti Bunder
M. Sameer/AK Mohsin