LAHORE: Between 2000 and 2010, Pakistan lost 430,000 hectares of forest with over 75 million trees being cut down every year. In Lahore, the total tree cover has gone down by 75 per cent and with rapid urbanisation over the past two decades, it has led to deforestation.
To counter this trend, a comprehensive set of public/private policy initiatives are needed. DeliveTree, a tree revival and engagement enterprise led by concerned private citizens to combat environment change, is one such initiative leading to positive outcomes regionally and internationally.
To help stem the green decline and ensure sustainability for future generations, DeliveTree has joined hands with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) for the Humanitarian Tree Drive, sponsored by Nippon Paint Pakistan.
At the Humanitarian Tree Drive launch, SKMCH&RC Chief Medical Officer Dr Aasim Yusuf stressed the urgency of the absence of trees leading to skin cancer. On behalf of SKMCH&RC as a humanitarian partner, Dr Yusuf extended his full support to DeliveTree in its plan to plant 15 million trees in the city to achieve a cumulative target of 30 million trees in Punjab.
DeliveTree CEO Izmerai Durrani explained that DeliveTree will band together the best and brightest of Lahore to bring about a solid and lasting impact on the environment and to inculcate this into an education system to shape future leaders.
To achieve this, it will be engaging corporate, civil society and government departments with an advisory board comprising of passionate corporate leaders, civil servants and experts in ecology.
Infusing technology and environment, a DeliveTree App will also be launched; which will display available space for plantation and allow users to track trees while ensuring transparency and accountability.
Filmmaker Sarah Tareen, on the occasion, introduced on stage the special guests, Saif, Sana and Junaid – brave children who are under treatment at SKMCH&RC.
The event was concluded with a pledge for a Greener Pakistan followed by the plantation of trees at the hospital with the Punjab Forest Department.