Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has given a directive for his flagship project – the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program – to be monitored through satellite images. The directive came in a meeting of the Special Committee on Climate Change held under the chairmanship of the premiere on Monday.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Minister (CM) of the Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, the CM of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Mahmood Khan, the CM of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan, the Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Minister for Planning Asad Umar, the Minister for Power Umar Ayub Khan, the Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Faisal Vawda, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, and the Minister of State Zartaj Gul.
The SAPM informed the attendees that the Billion Tree Tsunami Project in KP and the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami across the country have reduced Pakistan’s emissions growth to nine percent below the Business as Usual baseline and below the NDC (Nationally Determined Commitments).
He added that the country’s deforestation rate has significantly declined from 12000 hectares per year to 8000 hectares per year from 2012-2016, and will decline even more with the success of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project.
Pakistan is contributing less than 1 percent in global emissions. The overall ranking of the country vis-à-vis total emissions has shifted from 135 in 2015 to 133 in 2018 on per capita ranking.
The SAPM also updated the PM about the progress of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami. He stated that the country is set to achieve its first Billion Tree target by the middle of 2021, which will be celebrated across the country. Additionally, Pakistan is on course to achieve Phase-I of 3.2 billion trees by 2023.
The committee was further informed that the consortium of three international agencies – the WWF, the IUCN, and the FAO – has already started working on the Third-Party monitoring of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program.
The PM also stressed the need for water treatment plants to treat the polluted rivers. He expressed his satisfaction over the progress made in the Billion Tree Tsunami Program and called for cooperation with SUPARCO to ensure transparency in the project.