Imran urges world to increase tree-cover, protect ecosystem, save environment

By: News Desk      Published: 04:34 PM, 5 Jun, 2021
Imran urges world to increase tree-cover, protect ecosystem, save environment
PM Imran Khan delivering his speech.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the international community to join hands for protecting the ecosystem, increasing tree-cover and saving the environment for coming generations, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The prime minister was addressing the virtual launch gala of UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration on the occasion of World Environment Day — an event hosted this year by Islamabad.

Addressing the gathering on Saturday, Imran Khan said “It is time for the world to come together and save the environment for our future generations.”

He urged the international community to make efforts to stop the rapid depletion of tree cover as well as the degradation of the environment.

Sharing his government’s efforts towards improving the environment, Imran pointed out that Pakistan, as part of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, had so far completed the plantation of one billion trees of its ambitious target to plant 10 billion trees.

“Pakistan has also started another ambitious programme of increasing national parks in the country and so far nine such areas have been established in various parts of the country,” he said.

“Half of the country's income is spent on repaying loans," the premier said, as he regretted Pakistan could not spend the desired amount to tackle environmental problems.

The prime minister said special guards would be posted for the construction of national parks, adding tourism would witness a boost after they are completed.

"Locals will realise the importance of national parks once it boosts tourism," he said.

Imran Khan said the objective of this programme was to increase tree cover and protect wildlife. He said his government was also working on the restoration of wetlands by using floodwaters and replenishing the water table.

Imran said that the whole process also helped in creating green employment opportunities — the government created 80,000 jobs for women and youth during the pandemic.

At a time when prolonged quarantines rendered people unemployed, the government enabled them, particularly women and youth in remote areas, to generate income by growing nurseries, he recalled.

The prime minister said the rich economies have not done enough to combat global warming, adding Pakistan had done more than its global counterparts to combat carbon emissions relative to its economic means.

“Has the developed world done enough: The answer is no,” he said. “Emissions are from the rich countries. And I think they know they haven’t done enough.”

He lamented the world had not given due attention to the environmental issues it faces, calling for collective efforts to tackle them.

During the ceremony, Pakistan made some important announcements related to initiatives that it has taken to mitigate the effects of climate change, including the 10 Billion Trees Tsunami Program, Clean Green Pakistan, the Electric Vehicle Policy, National Parks, and Green jobs.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) had said in a report released on Friday that over the last five years Pakistan had experienced an environmental turnaround after years of decline in its natural capital, but added more needed to be done.