ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed satisfaction over the progress on the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme and directed for ensuring complete transparency including actively engaging SUPARCO for satellite imagery in the execution of the Programme across the Country.
While chairing a meeting of the Prime Minister’s Committee on Climate Change in Islamabad on Monday, the prime minister appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Climate Change and directed to actively look into the possibility of net-zero emissions for Pakistan which may become possible with the enhancement of the carbon sequestration potential.
Underscoring the need for putting in place Early Warning System to mitigate the impacts of erratic Climate Change, the prime minister also stressed upon the need for water treatment plants to purify contaminated surface water of the rivers.
The Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan, the Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Faisal Vawda, the Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, the Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, the Minister of State Zartaj Gul, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Security Dr. Moeed Yousaf, and Senior Officials were present during the meeting.
The meeting reviewed the latest inventory reserves of Green House Gases (GHG) and progress made on the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.
It was informed that Pakistan’s emission growth is 9% below Business as Usual baseline and also below the NDC (Nationally Determined Commitments).
This climate-friendly shift has been made possible due to increased forest cover as a result of the successful Billion Tree Tsunami project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the ongoing 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme across the Country.
The Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam informed the meeting that the deforestation rate has significantly been reduced from 12000 hectares/year to 8000 ha/y from 2012-2016 and will further fall with 10BTT success.
The meeting was informed that Pakistan was contributing less than 1% in global emission. The overall ranking of the country vis-à-vis total emissions has shifted from 135 in 2015 to 133 in 2018 on Per Capita ranking.
Highlighting other successes, the Special Assistant informed the meeting that Pakistan has increased its mangrove cover by 300% during 1990-2020 which is a strong carbon-sequestering tool. It is the largest mangrove cover increase in the world.
The meeting was informed that the Country is ranked as 8th in terms of Climate Vulnerability Ranking and is faced with threats of rain variability, urban flooding, increased temperature, and formation of glacial lakes.
Amin Aslam also updated the prime minister about the progress of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami.
Pakistan is set to achieve the first Billion Tree target by the middle of 2021, which will be celebrated across the country, the meeting was informed. Additionally, Pakistan is on target to achieve Phase-I of 3.2 billion trees by 2023, the meeting was further informed.
The Committee was also briefed that the Consortium of three international agencies including WWF, IUCN and FAO have already started their work for Third-Party monitoring of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.
The meeting was informed that 80,000 jobs were offered during the COVID-19 under the 10 BTT project.