Sunday, September 27, 2020
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PM launches ‘record-breaking’ plantation drive

By Asghar Ali Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday urged the nation to fully participate in tree plantation drive to revert the environmental degradation in the country which posed a serious threat to its crops, terrains and livelihood.
Addressing a big gathering of volunteers of the Tiger Force and people from different walk of life here at Korang Park, the prime minister said that unanimous decisions by the nation always yielded positive results and referred to country’s success in containing the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister said the climate change was also affecting the country as they had witnessed a reduction of 1.5 million tonnes in wheat production in the current year because the rainfall adversely affected the crop.
The prime minister planted a sapling to formally launch country’s biggest tree plantation campaign targeting around 3.5 million trees across the country on Tiger Force day being observed on August 9. The prime minister further said the changes were occurring because of climatic changes, he said, urging the nation to realize its true potential and come forward to share their responsibility in arresting deforestation of the country.
About 80 per cent of the glaciers in the country were facing the risk of melting which could increase desertification in the catchment areas if drastic steps were not taken, he warned. “It is our collective duty to make the country green by planting trees,” he stressed.
The prime minister also underlined the need to control pollution in the Rawal Lake which provided water to adjacent Rawalpindi city.
Expressing satisfaction over government’s policy of smart lockdown and the public response against coronavirus pandemic which resulted in bringing down the daily caseload, he asked the people to strictly follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as the coronavirus threat was not over.
The prime minister stressed upon maintaining the social distance and wearing of masks in public places. He said the world acknowledged the government’s steps to control coronavirus and he also lauded efforts of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), Tiger Force and his health team for making hectic efforts in this regard.
The prime minister asked the nation to to follow these SOPs during the upcoming month of Muharram ul Haram. Earlier, Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that about 3.5 million saplings were planted across the country on Sunday.
He said Pakistan was the 5th most vulnerable country in the world facing the negative effects of climate change. Referring to a World Bank’s report on climate change, he called for immediate action to arrest the environmental degradation because the report had identified six districts of Pakistan as ‘hotspots’ which would become inhabitable in future due to rising temperatures.

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