By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Sunday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government was on mission to restore the lost beauty of forests and expand green areas of the country through forests under â€™10 Billion Tree Tsunamiâ€™ projects.
He said that the government was working on a comprehensive National Forest Policy to curb deforestation and increase the land covered by forests. He explained that due to negligence of previous government forests were undoubtedly under pressure from various threats but the on-going policy of present government would change and offers a ray of hope that Pakistan will be able to regain its lost forest cover, build resilience to climate change, create green jobs and foster sustainable development.
‘We will continue with zero tolerance against timber mafia that wonâ€™t allow anyone to chop off even a single tree in the countryâ€ , he warned. Talking about Kundian upcoming project, he said government would soon start a historic â€˜Billion Tree Honey project in Kundianâ€™ to turned its acres of barren land into green forests and would create job opportunities for locals.
He said the objective of the â€˜billion tree honey projectâ€™ was to tackle the issue of climate change, rescued the natural forests and increase the knowledge among communities about the importance of green forests. Government would also extend loans for those farmers who are interested for this project and would make them able empower to start their honey tree businesses easily, he added.
He said that under the programme, bee keepers will be trained and through proper branding and ensuring quality certification, the value of the countryâ€™s honey will be increased in the international market. Amin expressed confidence that the Billion Tree Honey programme will help enhance the countryâ€™s potential to produce 70,000 metric tonnes of honey in a year.
He said the PTI government was the first to think about planting trees in Pakistanâ€™s history, adding, trees are a precious natural asset and vital part of the fight against climate change.