Greening the Mother Earth - Tree Plantation Initiative by Country Office Pakistan!

30 July 2019, Islamabad - Today, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Country Office Pakistan, initiated a voluntary Tree Plantation Drive at the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association site, Islamabad. This initiative is aligned with UN SDG 13 'Climate Action' and UN SDG 15 'Life on Land'. Climate Change is a long-term problem requiring action from policymakers as well as the public. With its growing salience and concern globally, it is to be noted that Pakistan is no exclusion to the dangers posed by climate change and the resultant global warming. The erratic changes in temperatures all around the country, and frequent rainfalls outside the monsoon season, are some of the noticeable consequences of climate change which gravely impact the agrarian sector, and the farmers in all aspects, especially their livelihoods.

The prime aim of this drive was to contribute to sustenance of the environment, regulate temperatures around the city, and make efforts for the supply of ample fruit for future generations.

Following the footsteps of the Prime Minister Imran Khan's Billion Tree Tsunami Project, this Tree Plantation Campaign was conducted under the leadership of Ms. Saania Rubab and Mr. Hamza Sajjad, in collaboration with WWF Pakistan and the Pakistan Boys Scouts Association. The event was purely a voluntary initiative,  organised with the donations from the staff members of UNODC COPAK.

Mr Zahid Mehmood, Secretary Pakistan Boy Scouts Association, welcomed all participants and briefed them on the role of the boy scouts in planning the activities (and providing logistical support) of which environmental sustainability was a crucial part. He also presented a report on Boys Scout Association to Mr Danillo Campisi, Officer in Charge  UNODC.

Talking to the contributors from UNODC, WWF and Boys Scouts Association for the initiative, Mr. Campisi emphasized the importance of saving trees and preserving paper. Mr Hammad, Senior Officer for Corporate Partnerships and Fundraising, WWF also appreciated this collaboration under SDG 17, and the overall noble cause of planting trees. He informed the audience that the goal of planting 1.4 million trees had been partially achieved, since 1.1 million trees had already been planted so far. 

Mr Campisi kicked off  the campaign officially by planting a Kachnar tree ( which  is classified as a vegetable and fruit tree that takes about 2 to 3 years for ripening of its fruit). 200 trees saplings, primarily consisting of Kachnar and Pine, were planted during the campaign. The  Pines are long lived and typically reach ages of 100-1,000 years, and have a variety of 120 to 125 species.This special feature is a primary reason as to why the Pine was chosen for plantation.                  

30 UNODC staff members including senior officers and  3  from WWF Pakistan also took their turns to plant trees. Many colleagues were also accompanied by their families who actively participated in the activity. 

During the campaign, relevant experts gave briefings on the significance of tree plantation in tackling issues of pervasive air pollution and consequent acid rain.

Refreshments were also served to all participants on the spot, in addition to group photos. Mr Mehmood gave his concluding remarks and feedback by stating: 'This activity is a continuation of other activities to make Pakistan more clean and more green. We are happy that WWF organized this event in collaboration with UNODC'.