Pakistan's new administration vows to plant some 10 billion trees in the next five years to replenish the country's depleted forests, Climate Change News said.
Former world-class cricketer and newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan's political party said the impact of rising temperatures, major flooding, prolonged droughts and unpredictable rainfall has already cost the country US$6 billion to US$14 billion in relief aid and economic recovery.
“It is now imperative to tackle climate change and reverse environmental degradation as Pakistan’s situation will only worsen as the economy grows,” Khan's party manifesto said.
According to Pakistani think tank Sustainable Development Policy Institute, the country is the seventh most vulnerable to climate change while contrastingly the least polluting, being responsible for only 0.2% of global emissions.
Khan will expand his “Billion Tree” reforestation project, in which some 865,000 acres of trees were planted in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province from 2014 to 2017.
"If you plant trees, we have discovered, by the river banks it sustains the rivers. But most importantly, the glaciers that are melting in the mountains, and one of the biggest reasons is because there has been a massive deforestation. So, this billion tree is very significant for our future," Khan remarked last August.
Pakistan holds the Guinness World Record for most trees planted in 24 hours, 847,275 trees. But, the country has as little as 2.2% of total forest cover, Pakistan Today reported.
Trees, in addition to providing oxygen, tackle erosion. Experts claim that Pakistan could run out of forests in the next 50 years.