Plantation Is Not An option But A Crucial Need

According to the Global Climate Risk Index report, Pakistan is considered the 5th most vulnerable country for climate threats. 

Plantation Is Not An option But A Crucial Need

The forests and trees are the lungs of the Earth, as they can help in carbon sequestration and keep the climate under control. Trees and plants mitigate CO2 levels in the atmosphere and reduce global warming, ultimately reducing the elevation of the temperature. Besides this, they preserve biodiversity and prevent soil erosion. There is no doubt that forests and trees are protecting Pakistan’s ecosystem. 

Without forests and trees, carbon dioxide levels would rise, contributing to global warming and climate change. Due to this elevation of carbon dioxide, negative consequences occur in the environment, including the melting of polar ice caps and rising sea levels.

According to the Global Climate Risk Index report, Pakistan is considered the 5th most vulnerable country for climate threats. 

This is an alarming situation for us. The PM office provided statistics indicating that between 1999 and 2018, Pakistan lost 10,000 lives to climate change impacts like droughts, heat waves, torrential rains, and flash floods.

There is no doubt that the government has been taking initiatives and making policies aimed at promoting plantation and forestation efforts and has launched successful projects like the Billion Trees Forestation Project (BTAP), which was started in the KP province in 2014. The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami (TBTTP) project was also inaugurated on September 2, 2018, and has a long-term aim to cross 10 billion trees by 2028. However, there is still a need to do this on an individual level and help the government complete its projects.

Sometimes there are some obstacles and hurdles in implementing effective plantation programs due to a lack of awareness. People who lack knowledge of the importance of trees in environmental conservation engage in some cultural or traditional practices that involve clearing the forests for agricultural purposes and using the wood unsustainably. For this, target awareness campaigns and community engagement efforts should be made to overcome these issues. Another major issue arises from the limited resources available for these programs to run. The government allocates a limited budget for environmental conservation. On the other hand, community-based organizations mostly struggle to secure adequate funding for their activities.

Meanwhile, some local communities are developing their plans to participate in this activity.

Due to this, these small efforts will have compound effects in the future and eventually lessen the climate impacts.

Now I suggest some practical tips for encouraging individuals to participate in plantation activities, which ultimately can contribute to environmental conservation efforts:

It is important to make yourself volunteer for tree-planting efforts. Many organizations and community groups organize tree-planting events and campaigns. Volunteering for these activities is a direct way to contribute to afforestation efforts in your local area. Keep an eye out for announcements and opportunities to participate in tree-planting activities.

The second thing one can do is to join environmental groups or clubs. Consider joining environmental groups, clubs, or associations that focus on conservation and sustainability. These groups often organize tree-planting initiatives, awareness campaigns, and advocacy efforts. By becoming a member, you can actively engage in environmental activities and collaborate with like-minded individuals.

Another important way is to plant trees in your own space, whether you have a backyard, balcony, or windowsill. You can plant trees and native plants to improve quality, provide habitat for wildlife, and beautify your surroundings. Research which tree species are suitable for your climate and soil conditions, and consider planting a mix of trees, shrubs, and flowers to create a diverse ecosystem.

It is significant to support reforestation projects. Many organizations and initiatives offer opportunities to support reforestation projects through donations and sponsorships. You can contribute financially to tree planting efforts in deforested or degraded areas, either locally or globally. Look for reputable organizations that have a track record of successful reforestation projects and transparent operations.

My last tip is to educate yourself and others about the importance of trees and forests for the environment, climate, and biodiversity. Educate yourself about local ecosystems, native plant species, and environmental issues facing your region. Share your knowledge with friends, family, and community members to raise awareness and inspire action towards conservation.

The writer is pursuing a master’s degree in chemistry at Bahuddin Zakariya University.