Let’s cut down the trees and create a commercial hub. Develop roads, build buildings, and make some space for the factories and industries. And look everyone is clapping and praising.
Because we remain ignorant to issues like climate change. We don’t care about pollution. We feel that fresh air can be compromised for metro and green, orange named projects. So let us cut down the trees, lose millions of species, construct a restaurant, have dinner there and discuss, ‘The billion tree Tsunami project, would have a hidden agenda behind. They must have misused the money, or I am sure the trees will be less than claimed or..’ and the rest of the sentence is lost in a cough, as the smoke surrounds the interior & exterior of the busy commercial restaurant.
Billion Tree Tsunami Project in KPK
The billion tree tsunami is a project in KPK, in Gambila River Bed in Lakki Marwat. The project was initiated by KPK government to plant billion new trees in the area and fight deforestation with reforestation.
In 4 years the KPK Government has restored over 600,000 hectares of ruined forest in the province. This project is the biggest eco-investment ever done in Pakistan.
The target has been achieved before the set time of five years. The budget was reduced from Rs22 billion to Rs12.5 billion still the project saw the light of the day.
Furthermore, an independent third-party auditor checked the project, its process & implementation and here too the Billion Tree Tsunami Project passed with flying colors.
Another achievement that came with this project for Pakistan was that under the global Bonn Challenge (globally known feat) KPK became the first worldwide entity to achieve its forest restoration target.
Employment opportunities opened, 500,000 ‘green’ jobs, were given to the young rural women of KPK.
WWF, the leading global environmental organization gave this project its unanimous support and appreciation.
Only 20% of the forest was checked by the third-party performance auditor.
Performance audits are based on sample sizes as needed for the required results. If an unbiased auditor did a performance audit on 20% land and found the results needed, it is perfectly logical and it makes sense.
Other than this it is being claimed that plants were bought at high prices.
The truth is because of this project the KPK government started an initiative promoting youth nurseries program which created 500,000 green jobs. The prices to buy plants from the nurseries was fixed and same as that of their own nurseries.
As mentioned above that KPK government achieved their target in Rs12.5 billion, while the original funds decided were Rs 22 billion. Cost of the project went down drastically, still, the target was achieved. But the criticism never ends.
Summarizing the whole tsunami of criticism falling upon the billion tree tsunami, Imran Khan said,
“We should all be concerned on how jungles of Punjab & Sindh have been devastated and encroached upon by timber mafia rather than maligning the greatest reforestation project in Pakistan’s history.”