What it's about:
Imran Khan has pledged to plant 10 billion trees to combat climate change in his five years as prime minister of Pakistan.
Reviving Pakistan’s depleted forests is one of several major environmental initiatives outlined in the election manifesto of Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The party also promised to invest in renewable energy and water conservation projects to tackle drought.
“Pakistan is facing the brunt of climate change, so making sure our development is totally climate compatible, our infrastructure is resilient to climate shocks, is going to be very high priority,” Malik Amin Aslam, who drafted the manifesto and is tipped as the next environment minister, told Climate Home News.
Last year, PTI launched the “billion tree tsunami” initiative, which involved the restoration of 35,000 hectares of forests in Pakistan’s northwest Pakhtunkhwa province.
Why it's noteworthy:
Pakistan ranks seventh on the list of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, according to the Sustainable Development Policy Institute.
Extreme heat waves triggered by climate change claimed more than 1,000 lives in Pakistan in 2015.
Pakistan has one of the highest deforestation rates in the region, with forest accounting for only two percent of its land area.
Planting trees could play a major role in limiting global warming under the Paris climate agreement. Trees soak up carbon dioxide as they grow, turning forests into vast stockpiles of greenhouse gases. Better forest management could result in a reduction of 11.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year by 2030, scientists said last year.
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