President launches spring tree planting, urges nation make Pakistan green


Rawalpindi : President Pervez Musharraf Friday launched the spring tree planting campaign and urged the nation to make Pakistan green by enthusiastically participating in the national cause.

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The President kicked off the campaign to plant 86.5 million saplings, across the country, by planting a sapling of Pine [chir] here at his Camp Office.

The President said under the Medium Term Development Framework 2005-10 and the Millennium Development Goals ample financial resources have been allocated to increase forest cover from 5.01 to 6.0 percent by 2015.

The President said there was a need to undertake forestry development projects across the country in collaboration with international support, to cover barren land of Pakistan with trees.

The 2008 Spring Tree Planting campaign targets planting 22 million saplings in Punjab, 12 million in Sindh, 27 million in NWFP, 1.5 million in Balochistan, 16 million in AJK, 4 million in Northern Areas and 4 million saplings by other departments including CDA.

President Pervez Musharraf said forests were an essential part of the ecosystem regulating water supplies to reservoirs and irrigation systems, which serve as the life line for the agro-based economy of Pakistan.

He noted that Rs 12 billion (US$190.9 million) mega forestry sector projects have been approved by ECNEC that will be implemented by all provincial governments and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Northern Areas.

The President directed the provincial governments to implement these projects and involve all stakeholders including farmers, local communities forest owners and right holders, civil society organizations, the private sector and students.

He said the government will endeavor to ensure transfer of technologies, training and upgrading of departmental infrastructure to facilitate the provinces in implementing their strategies and programmes of forestry sector.