Billion TreeTsunami: ‘750m trees including 40pct forest regeneration carried out in KP’

BE2C2 Report — Over 750 Million trees out of the 1  project have been planted in Pakistan’s northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as per figures released after carried out an external audit of the forestation program, according to reports.

The province-wide reforestation initiative is reported to have achieved three-fourths of its target and would reach the billion tree mark by the end of 2017.

Most of the success has been achieved through natural regeneration of forest areas in hills and mountains of KP with community participation backed by local government help — 40 percent natural growth has been achieved by restricting uncontrolled tree-cutting and similar activities, said a KP spokesman.

Resource-rich KP province has a vast resource of forest, however, over the years, unchecked activities of ‘forest mafia’, the ‘timber mafia’ and the cartels in collusion with unscrupulous officials led to a massive deforestation of the hilly regions.

3000 hectares of waterlogged wastelands (wetlands) in Bannu have also been built as part of the forestation campaign — at a site bigger than Changa Manga, reports have said.

“Trees Reduce Climate Change Impacts Substantially and it is this Idea Behind the #BillionTreeTsunami project in KP,” a tweet said.

Another tweet said, “if there’s political will, community participation, transparency and teamwork such successes happen and will always happen.”

The project has drawn praise from institutes like the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and the Bonn Challenge – a global partnership aiming to restore the planet’s tree coverage – and its success should act as a model for other provinces.

According to an expert, the BTT has provided with an effective and functioning model to copy by other province in Pakistan. “It creates jobs – 500,000 according to the BTT estimates – regulates the timber industry and is fairly cheap compared to infrastructural projects,” the expert said, The Nation quoted.

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