Pakistan’s Catholic Church is behind a plan to plant a million trees by 2019. Lahore and Karachi are among the most polluted cities in the world. In 2025 Pakistan will be in absolute water scarcity.
Lahore (AsiaNews) – Caritas Pakistan has launched a campaign to plant a million trees. In doing so, it is putting into action the Church’s doctrine on integral ecology.
Planting beech trees and orchids trees began in 2016 and will end in 2019. The work is well underway, with 700,000 saplings already planted in various parts of the country.
The initiative is called ‘One Million Tree Plantation Campaign (2016-2019)’, and involves many primary school students.
During the latest operation, last Sunday, more than 50 students planted saplings along the banks of a canal in Farooqabad, a city in Sheikhupura district (Punjab province).
The event was sponsored by NutriCo Morinaga, which is affiliated with a famous Japanese company that produces baby food, in collaboration with Punjab’s Forestry Department.
According to some studies, Lahore and Karachi are among the ten most polluted cities in the world in terms of air quality. About 21 million people across the country (10% of the country’ population) do not have access to drinking water.
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources warns that that Pakistan will approach absolute water scarcity by 2025.
“The plantation drive is part of preparedness to combat climate change effects. Instead of ornamental shrubs, we are focusing on shade trees,” Amjad Gulzar Executive Director Caritas Pakistan told AsiaNews.
Syed Nadeem Abbass the sub-divisional forest officer in Punjab’s Forestry Department assured Caritas Pakistan of his department’s support.
“Tree plantation is the only natural method to counter increasing pollution, the rest is just adaptation. Government departments can only plant trees on state owned land but civil society can help in expanding the drive,” he said.