A CSR opportunity

Recently, I took my grandson to Clifton’s urban forest in Karachi where he had planted a tree some eight months ago. The purpose was to help him develop love for nature and trees. This unique place for nature-lovers is in the heart of Clifton along the beach.

This man-made forest now has some 83 types of trees, including fruit-bearing ones. About 700,000 trees are thriving, and out of them mangroves have started generating seeds. Some 115 types of birds visit this little paradise and 15 of them have even adopted the place and have started breeding there.

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Black-winged stilt, moorhen, lapwing and birds like scaly-breasted munia, plain prinia and Indian silver bill can be seen these days. There are several beehives in the forest. Following the Miyawaki method, the trees have been planted close to each other in the urban forest.

The sewerage water, which was previously being dumped on the Clifton beach, caters to the watering needs of this green land.

Three lakes are also created with this water and an artificial wetland is taking shape right there in front of our eyes. Hundreds of birds are seen in this wetland enjoying the sunset. This segment of the Clifton beach is the cleanest, with no plastic bags, cans or bottles.

We were shown our native peelu tree, which had black and green berries that tasted real nice. The branches of peelu are commonly used as miswaak. Now did anyone know that we have our own edible berries in Karachi?

The urban forest has been developed with love by passionate environ-mentalist Masood Lohar. This has been done on land that was once a garbage dump.

Only a few moons ago, he made his office in a tent, removed trucks and trucks of garbage, brought in fresh soil and planted trees with his own savings and support from the provincial government.

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We need to support this effort towards creating space for nature and nature-lovers. Corporate entities can support the dream using their respective corporate social responsibility (CSR) platforms.

The schools can bring children to plant one tree each and nature-lovers can donate plants, seeds, soil and grants to keep the project moving.

A niece of one of my friends from Canada has donated Canadian dollars for trees meant for the people of Karachi. We can do it in rupees. Let us all do this.

S NAYYAR IQBAL RAZA

KARACHI

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