Target: Malik Amin Aslam, Leading Environmentalist, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party
Goal: Applaud initiative to plant nearly one million trees in areas struggling due to deforestation.
A massive forest restoration project has been announced in Pakistan. The $150 million initiative, called the Billion Tree Tsunami, aims to see various types of trees planted throughout the Northern region in hopes of reversing the negative effects of deforestation. The initiative is only part of the larger Green Growth Initiative, which will also crack down on timber mafias, or large-scale illegal logging operations.
Recent floods in the Northern region caused the deaths of 140 people and devastated villages and infrastructure. Officials say that, while heavy rains are common, soil erosion due to deforestation has exacerbated the effects of these floods. Deforestation has also been detrimental to many animal species, some of which are in danger of extinction due to substantial habitat loss.
This initiative will not only benefit citizens by reducing flood damage, but will provide income to some of the villages where plantations are being built. The government is paying unemployed youth and rural women so set up kitchen nurseries to house 25,000 saplings before planting. Nursery operators will earn between 12,000 to 15,000 rupees per month, which is a high income relative to the area.
Pakistan has one of the lowest forest cover rates of the Middle Eastern and Asian countries, at only 2.2 percent, according to the Food and Agriculture organization. Without action now, the country could face further ecological disaster. Sign the petition below to praise the Billion Tree Tsunami and urge policymakers to work hard to ensure the success of the operation.
Dear Mr. Aslam,
The Billion Tree Tsunami initiative will see nearly one million trees planted this year in areas of Pakistan that are seeing the negative effects of deforestation. The initiative will not only help save villagers from floods in the future, but will provide income to those helping to grow and tend the saplings. In conjunction with other initiatives, including one to crack down on timber mafias, this plan will ensure the survival of Pakistan’s struggling forests.
As well as citizens, plants and animals native to Pakistan will benefit from the project as species threatened by habitat loss will be given a new chance at survival. This plan is beneficial to Pakistan’s citizens and animals as well as the global environment in general. We, the undersigned, applaud your initiative, and urge you to anything within your power to ensure that it is successful.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andreas Wienemann