Environmentalists and concerned citizens have emphasized the need for increasing the forest cover to subside the negative impacts of climate change in Pakistan, for this purpose, they suggested planting fruits and indigenous trees across the country.
The speakers from Pakistan and other countries were speaking at an online Global Webinar organized by concerned citizens Ramesh Raja and Manzoor Ujjain on the theme: “Trees are the need of life and beauty of the land”. It was the 14th Webinar of the talk series amid the social distances and movement restrictions due to the Coronavirus epidemic.
Participants from all over the world discussed topics like global warming, environmental pollution, climate change, the importance of forests and green engineering.
In his inaugural speech, Engr. Ramesh Raja said that oxygen is the foremost need of all lives and trees are its main source. In Pakistan, the forests were once spread over an area of 5% land up to 1980, which is now only less than 3%. Internationally, forests should cover 25% of the land area. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan is the 10th fastest climate-changing country in the world, which is a highly worrying situation for all of us.
Ramesh Raja further said that Sindh comprises Katcha, Pakka and coastal forests; accumulating 2.3% of the land area. More than 50% of the trees have been cut down illegally during the last thirty years. Here even the trees and forests are considered properties of the feudal lords like the bonded labourers who are brutally killed (cut) for their greedy purposes. Such illegal activities should be stopped and forests need to be freed soon.
To reach the desired need for forests, he suggested “Block plantation” on government lands and trees will have to be planted on both sides of highways, railways and canals in always available right of way, which shall reduce air and voice pollution and erosion control in case of canals. Strict laws will have to be enacted against cutting down trees.
Dr. Khushal Kalani from the USA said that instead of anti-environment foreign trees, the native trees like Sheesham, Neem, Peepal, Barr, Bair, Tamarind, Olive, Mulberry, Desi Bubble, Kandi, Mango, Moringa, Lemon, Bombax, Guava, Jamman, Cheekoo, Lesora, Coconut etc. can be planted to deal with global warming and seasonal disasters.
Engr. Nadim Ahmer Memon speaking on tree plantation in cities and towns said that at least as many trees as family members should be planted inside the houses. According to the world\’s green building theory, it is mandatory to plant and place trees and plants on roof-tops and balconies. There must be trees on both sides of city streets and roads and Local bodies should not approve maps of residential schemes without planting trees and must ensure enough plantation in parks and playgrounds in cities. Trees should be planted in cemeteries in the name of their loved ones. Unfortunately, the cities of Sindh are free from tree planting.
Anis Noor Memon, dealing with tree plantation in Bahrain said that in Sindh, under various pretexts, forests are being cut down and valuable timber is being extracted and sold. The land is being cleared of forests and made both ways money; selling timber and using land for crops.
He suggested spraying of seeds in the Kacha Area of Sindh during flood and rain seasons and the banks of canals are always moist to tree plantation. Sindh is observing significant temperature rise, which ultimately shall cause firstly climate change and then a disaster.
Dodo Khan Khatian, a literature lover from Dubai said that trees are a symbol of life and so it is difficult to live without trees. The trees are also a sign of hope and hence a tree planter can never commit suicide. He said poets, columnists and writers should mention tree planting in their works.
In the end, the host of the programme Manzoor Ujjan said that every conscious citizen should play his/her role in enhancing the beauty of the land by planting at least one indigenous tree with his own hands so that future generations will be proud of us to see the land green and lush. We have to plant trees for oxygen and we have to campaign for them. By planting trees we can make this earth a paradise.
Besides, Dara Shahid from the USA, Jawad Haider from Hungary, Aslam Arain from the Netherlands, Zeeshan Jatoi from Russia, Ali Hassan Rind from Cuba, Kaka Singh from Germany, Manzoor Sethar from Bahrain, Santosh Katari from Saudi Arabia, Prof. Suresh Kumar Wadhwani, Dr. Shehzad Sheikh, Haji Khan Bozdar, Saeed Chana, Rauf Paras Dayu, Abdul Wahid, Amjad Shar, Sarang Warar, Shakeel Ahmed Sheikh, Abdul Jabbar Chang, Abdul Ghaffar Indhar and others took part in the online discussion and promised to plant his own trees during the ongoing rains and shall take an active part in the campaign of tree plantation.