ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Sunday said forest restoration was killing two birds with one stone as it helped in biodiversity conservation and local communities’ well being and development.
In his message on World Forests Day, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation (TBTTP) project aimed at forest conservation.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Forests 2021 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being.”
Amin said the BTT plantation project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa helped generate half a million green jobs in the form of forest guards, wild fire fighters, youth working in nursery to raise saplings and women raising plant nurseries under the massive afforestation project.
He added that the TBTTP launched in 2018 had the objective to revive forest and wildlife resources in the country to improve the overall conservation and restoration.
The 10BTT in 2018 was hit by the COVID-19 like everything else whereas it came to rescue Pakistan by providing green jobs for Covid-idled masses and protect the country by generating employment opportunities, he added.
The SAPM said we had managed to create 85, 000 jobs in COVID-19 era which was a respite of fresh air in the country.
Forest restoration, he said went hand in hand with the well-being and development of the local masses living in and around the forest areas, he added.
Amin said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan’s TBTTP is not about timber rather about people who live in forest and they are benefiting by it in various ways.”
The SAPM presented the instance of thriving mangroves in the Southern region of the country, he said, “Mangroves have increased 300 percent in the coastal areas of Sindh and Pakistan is the only country with such large number of mangroves.”
He highlighted that we were employing rural women under TBTTP to plant mangroves and they were becoming protectors of mangrove forests under this unique initiative.
“Pakistan’s message for the day is that forest conservation not deals with improving, conserving and enhancing green cover only rather it assists protecting the communities that inhabit forests or live around it, ” the PM’s aide remarked.