Ten billion phased Tree Tsunami Programme launched in AJK: Secretary AJK Forests Syed Zahoor Gillani

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Altaf Hamid Rao

Up-scaling of Green Pakistan Programme (AJK-Component) devised: Gillani Talks to Parliament Times,

MIRPUR (AJK),   (Parliament Times)  : Under the spirit of the nation-wide Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme worth about Rs. 19284.890 million, the State Forest Department of Azad Govt. of the State of Jammu & Kashmir has devised the AJK-Component of the Up-scaling of Green Pakistan Programme to kick-off the mass tree-plantation programme tocover whole of the territory of the Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir, authorities said.

Unveiling the salient features devised in PC-1 of the gigantic project launched in Azad Jammu & Kashmir State under the mass Green Pakistan Programme, Secretary Forests of the AJK government Syed Zahoor ul Hassan Gillani told in a telephonic interview to our Special AJK Correspondent and Resident Editor Altaf Hamid Rao on Friday that his department would be responsible to execute and maintain whole of the integrated phased mass national tree plantation program sponsored by the Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC) of the Government of Pakistan with prime focus to bring about the green-revolution through the massive tree plantation across the AJK state to benefit the stake holders especially the communities

The Secretary Forests AJK continued that the Government of Pakistan recently announced to plant Ten Billion Trees throughout Pakistan including Azad Jammu and Kashmir. In this context, meetings have been convened with Ministry of Climate Change Govt. of Pakistan Islamabad and the other Forest Departments including Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa (KP) to formulate AJK Component of the said project.

The ongoing project, he underlined, is being financed fully by the Government of Pakistan for AJK and Gilgit / Baltistan , whereas all the provinces are providing 50% share of the respective provincial components. The same modality of financing would continue hence there will be no burden on AJK Finance Department, he added.

The project will be financed through Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) of the Govt. of Pakistan for AJK Component.

“Two years under Green Pakistan Programme have already been completed achieving substantial physical targets. However, a total of Rs. 67.000 Million are pending including Rs. 29.079 Million against achieved physical targets of the approved project costing Rs 355 Million.

Highlighting the set goal and prime objectives and its relationship with the sector objectives,

Syed Zahoor ul Hassan Gillani said that the project concept was prepared in the light of the

Directions received from the Ministry of Climate Change of the Government of Pakistan

to implement Prime Minister of Pakistan’s initiative of Ten Billion Tree Plantation

Programme across the country including Azad Jammu Kashmir territory with the mainly aimed

at to increase the forest cover and to facilitate transition towards environmentally resilient

Pakistan by mainstreaming the adaptation to Climate Change Impacts and mitigation through ecologically targeted initiatives covering a forestation,

reforestation, biodiversity conservation and environmental amelioration.

Unveiling the long term objectives of the project, the top boss of the AJK State Forest Department said that the phased mass tree-plantation programme was devised to address the key environmental issues through watershed protection, climate change mitigation, protection against natural calamities, improvement of environment and to manage the quality and yield of water so that it can meet the current and future needs of ecosystems, communities, agriculture, industry and water reservoirs.

“Moreover, the gigantic project also contains mass livelihood improvement through planting of fruit and fodder species, ensure road safety through roadside planting and bio-engineering measures, involvement of communities in order to share the responsibilities of planning, implementation, monitoring, operation and maintenance of project activities and raising awareness and educating masses about environmental issues and sustainable resource use for climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction”, he underlined.

Referring to the devised short term objectives of the programme through direct znd measureable ways and means, he pointed out that since the Ten billion tree planting program was a Pakistan government initiative to increase forest cover through all means of growing plantations of indigenous and fast growing local tree species including fruit trees and adding an additional 555.067 Million Numbers of new plants in AJK over next five years to make the country green and environmentally resilient and adaptable.

The AJK Secretary Forest Department said that the areas of Rehabilitation and restocking of historic forest areas, restoration and improvement of scrub forest, watershed and soil conservation in hilly and river catchment areas (state as well as community lands) and protection and augmentation of dry temperate forests will be atop the priorities of the massive tree plantation program.

The AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, had, the otherday inaugurated the campaign by planting a sapling of ‘Chanar’ at the Jammu Kashmir House in the Federal metropolis..

AJK Chief Secretary Dr. Shehzasd Bangash, Secretary of the State Forest Department Syed Zahoor ul Hassan Gillai and other senior officials of the AJK government were also present on this occasion.

Secretary Forests AJK govt. Syed Zahoor ul Hassan Gillani told on this occasion that 60 million saplings were targeted to be planted on an area of 30 thousand acres piece of land.

At least 7.50 million saplings were planted during the spring tree plantation drive last year spring tree plantation drive. Over 4.50 million saplings are proposed be planted during the just launched tree plantation drive in AJK.

Syed Zahoor ul Hassan Gillani said that since forests were always considered the back bone of economy of the country, it was enjoined upon the people across AJK to enthusiastically participate in the tree plantation drive by planting at least one tree in their respective area for making the tree plantation drive complete success.

“Plants are the major source to ensure the polluted-free environment besides a strong source to save the land from erosion”, he said.

The AJK Forests Secretary emphasized the need of maximum involvement of all segments of the civil society, NGOs and the private and public sector departments to make the tree plantation drive complete success.

He suggested that in order to meet the target and to protect plants in future, people belonging to all walks of life including employees of public and private sector organizations, NGOs, students and other members of the civil society should be engaged in this campaign as maximum as possible.

It may be added that the AJK State Forests Department has made adequate arrangements to ensure the availability of the saplings of all sorts free of cost on all the government nurseries and the stipulated points.

Of these over 04 million saplings are targeted to be planted during the Spring tree plantation drive in Mirpur division comprising Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimbher districts.

The State Forest Department Secretary has also emphasized for the protection of the forests through due collective and individual role by the concerned departments as well as the individuals from all segments of the civil society and the private and public sector institutions including schools and colleges across the State.

The he above mentioned specific objectives would be achieved through following measures:

i) 197.053 M. No’s Seedling will be raised through departmental nurseries.

ii) 47.567 M. No’s Seedlings will be raised through private/ community nurseries.

iii) 12.625 M. No’s Seedlings will be distributed among organization and communities.

iv) 244.248 M. No’s of plants will be planted on forest/ private lands.

v) 0.619 M. No’s (including 0.100 beat up of failure) of plants will be planted along roadsides as linear planting.

vi) 3.500 M. No’s of fruit plants will be planted through community on farm lands and 1.000 million plants will be distributed among farmers.

vii) 186,486 Man Months will be utilized for watch and ward of natural regeneration and protection of planted areas.

viii) 30 M. No’s seed dibbling and 32 M. No’s trench and patch sowing will be carried out.

ix) 67 Million CFT & 3.350 Million RFT Soil Conservation Works will be carried out.

x) 10 Million CFT & 8 Million RFT Soil Bio Engineering & Land Slid Stabilization works will be carried out.

xi) 0.125 M. No’s of Ornamental Plants will be purchased and planted in urban areas.

xii) 0.125 M. No’s of Ornamental Plants will be distributed to different institutions.

xiii) 600 employees of AJK forest department will be trained in different project activities in Kashmir Forest School.

xiv) 24,500 No’s of community members will be trained for different project activities.

xv) 100,000 No’s of community members will be trained for different project activities by Agriculture Department.

xvi) 24 No’s of vehicles and 65 No’s of motor bikes will be purchased for AJK Forest Department.

xvii) Seed center and Kashmir forest school will be strengthened through this project.