- Admiral Abbasi points out severe environmental challenges due to a high deforestation rate
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Navy on Wednesday launched one million pine tree campaign here at the Margalla Hills under the Green Pakistan national campaign with an aim to ensure sustainable ecosystem and socio-economic development of the people.
In a message on the occasion, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi said that the world was facing severe environmental challenges due to high deforestation rate. As per the statistics published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations; the percentage of the forests in Pakistan with respect to land area has dropped from 3.3% to 1.9% in the last 25 years (1990-2015).
Realizing the severity of the situation, Admiral Zafar Abbasi said that the federal and provincial governments had taken concrete steps to stop deforestation and increase plantation. “I am confident that this pine tree plantation campaign along with mangrove and spring tree plantation drives being undertaken by the Pakistan Navy would contribute towards the national efforts,” he remarked.
For years, apart from the contributions towards food, fiber, livelihood, resources and water; trees have been instrumental in thwarting the adverse effects of climate change. The effects of climate change are alarming and its consequences are being felt in the shape of unpredictable weather conditions.
There was a time in early ’80s that Margalla Hills used to receive quite sizable winter snowfall but this beauty is now a part of history primarily due to climate change and frequent fire incidents observed in the hills, which rarely happened in the past. Pakistan Navy, being the immediate neighbour of the Margalla Hills felt the effects of this adverse weather and man-made calamities, the most.
Thus, taking lead to ensure institutionalization of necessary measures to mitigate such climatic effects, it had planned to plant one million plants on the Margalla Hills during the next three years in a phased campaign. Admiral Zafar Abbasi has urged the countrymen to join hands with the Pakistan Navy in that noble cause and commit to a plant at least one tree each, thus helping to provide clean and better environment for the future generations. “On this occasion, let us commit to be saviors of the trees and environment which is a blessing of Almighty Allah,” he said.