Gilgit: The United Nations has congratulated Pakistan for its historical achievement on turning China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project into a China-Pakistan Green Economic Corridor which will turned the project into a zero carbon and hydropower project.
Pakistan, being one of most affected by climate change, has land mark achievement as it attained the 13th goal of sustainable development, ahead of 10-year schedule.
A UN’s annual report on sustainable development says Pakistan had already achieved the target of ‘Climate Action’ thirteen years ago.
This annual report reviews the progress of countries around the world in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 13 is aimed at maximizing planting, conserving biodiversity and focusing on investing in environmentally friendly or clean energy.
Pakistan has launched several programmes for these three goals. These include programmes such as the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program, the Clean Green Pakistan Initiative, the Clean Green Pakistan Index, the Protected Areas Initiative (creation of 15 new national parks) and Green Growth. Pakistan continues to implement these programs in collaboration with UNDP.
For a long time Pakistan has been one of the countries where the forest area has always been declining, but in recent years the situation has changed. According to a report by the World Wide Fund (WWF) Pakistan had recently launched the Billion Tree Project, which has resulted in a six percent increase in forest cover in Khyber Pakhtunkhaw.
The Billion Tree Tsunami, or tree planting of one billion trees, was started by the Khyber Pakhtunkhaw government in 2014. One billion trees were planted on 35,000 hectares of forest and barren lands.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhaw ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ project, which started seven years ago started a revolution with great silence. The project soon reverberated not only across the country but also globally.
After the successful completion of the Billion Tree Tsunami Project at the provincial level, as soon as the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) was given the responsibility of taking over the central government in 2018, it caused a tsunami of 10 billion trees (10 billion tree tsunami) due to personal interest of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Under the mega project a green environmental revolution was launched through the restoration, promotion and large-scale afforestation of one million hectares of forests across the country.
A difficult goal is being pursued, but the project is moving forward despite all the adversity over the past two years. During this period, not only did the United Nations and the World Economic Forum warmly appreciate Pakistan’s commitment, but many other countries, including have launched similar projects in their countries.
Two and a half years of the present government have passed and about one billion trees have been planted so far, so the question arises as to whether it is possible to plant 9 billion trees in the next two and a half years.
Malik Amin Aslam, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change, said: “Our goal is to plant three billion trees in the next five years, which we will easily achieve.”
This programme has gained so much attention and importance at the national and international levels that even if the next PTI does not come to power it will not be possible for any government to end or ignore this project in view of climate change and pressure from global and regional organizations.
The project is moving forward despite all the adversity over the past two years. During this period, not only the United Nations and the World Economic Forum warmly appreciated Pakistan’s commitment, but many other countries have also launched the similar projects in their countries.
“This development shows that Pakistan is committed to achieving the set goals of sustainable development.,” Aslam said.
Last year UN’s Deputy Representative for Development in Pakistan, said that on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, “We congratulate Pakistan. We have gathered to review the annual report and we are proud that Pakistan has achieved its thirteenth goal of sustainable development. “Regarding the important programme of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government ‘Green Economy and Green Future’ government was taking steps to transform the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project into a China-Pakistan Green Economic Corridor which will turned the project into a zero carbon and hydropower project.