The Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) is planning to launch 7 national parks across Pakistan under the ‘Green Stimulus’ initiative of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project. This will conserve more than 650,042 hectares (ha) of forest areas.
According to the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam this project aims to preserve the depleting forest cover and the decreasing wildlife habitats across the country. It will cost around Rs. 2.4 billion.
He said that this initiative will help in creating many jobs for the local communities that are linked with national parks. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) alone the billion tree afforestation project generated 500,000 jobs. This included enclosure ‘nigehbans’ (guards), plant nursery workers, field staff, and workforce that is working in various field tasks.
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The minister said, “At present around 65,000 people were employed on daily wages under 10 Billion Tree Tsunami (10BTT) Project that have been directed to increase three times for achieving the 20 million trees this year target amid the pandemic of coronavirus. This indicates the quantum of sustainable and green employment opportunities to be created under the 10BTT project. It will also give ownership to the local masses of the protected area as its benefits will have a direct impact on their economic wellbeing.”
He also revealed that the PM will launch the project in which these parks will be built in Punjab, KP, Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). MoCC will fully fund the project.