Governments around the world are focusing more and more on green initiatives. From planting trees to making sustainable energy more affordable, the fight to combat climate change can be seen everywhere you look. This includes the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in Pakistan began the Billion Tree Tsunami project in 2014. It was completed ahead of schedule in August 2017 after more than 350,000 hectares of degraded forests and lands were restored. Right now, Pakistan has been embarking on a much bigger Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project and by 2023, ten billion trees would be planted across the country.
The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project
The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project started in 2018 and it will partially solve many of the major ecological problems in Pakistan. Since 1999, the country has been affected by effects of climate change, including higher average temperature, increased melting of glaciers in Himalaya and erratic rainfall. The agriculture sector currently represents about a quarter of Pakistan’s GDP and it employs about half of the country’s population. Climate change is significantly affecting the livelihood of many people and much of the country has arid terrains with many lakes often dry up and turn to desert, including the Hanna lake. Significant deforestation started during the British rule when large amounts of timber were needed for railroad and other colonial projects. Forest covered about 6.5% of the country in 1991 and despite recent initiatives, it was only 5% in 2016. Illegal logging, animal grazing, and a growing population are putting pressure on Pakistan’s small patches of forests.
Tree Growth And Harvesting Efforts Must Work Together
The government seeks to ensure acceptable survival rate of tree saplings, which can be threatened by extreme heat, lack of water and grazing animals. To solve this problem, local communities are being paid to raise saplings and look after recently planted trees. Native trees will be primarily selected in specific areas, while beneficial non-native species will also be introduced in community and plantation areas.
Communities are urged to plan beyond their short-term goals, by focusing on trees with long-term ecological and economical values. Quick growing trees can be cut down for their economical values when reaching maturity, provided that multiple saplings are raised and planted as replacement. The cut-down and replanting cycle will help in sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and contributes to combating the effects of global warming.
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