‘Positively impacted the environment and lives’, UNEP appreciates PM Imran Khan’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project

Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to appreciate the impact of his Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project (TBTTP). He appreciated his team for undertaking the initiative and delivering great results at a time when the world needed green drives. 

About the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project

Pakistan, which hosted World Environment Day in 2021, is particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Research by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) before the TBTTP project began found that only around five percent of the country has forest cover, against a global average of 31 percent, making it one of the six countries most susceptible to climate change.

The ambitious project was launched to revive forest and wildlife resources in Pakistan and bring a host of other benefits. To implement the initiative, 1.42 billion trees were planted between 2019 and December 2021, covering 1.36 million acres across almost 10,000 sites.

The government has committed to increasing its Protected Areas to 15 percent by 2023 under the TBTTP. In 2018, they stood at 12 percent; by mid-2021, they stood at 13.9 percent.

The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami is not only helping restore ailing ecosystems and improve natural capital; it is also supporting livelihoods. The project is expected to create jobs for almost 85,000 daily wagers. In addition, Pakistan’s protected areas initiative will create almost 7,000 long-term jobs.

UNDP and UNEP Appreciate The Initiative

Dechen Tsering, UNEP’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, said:

Large-scale restoration initiatives such as The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project are central to Pakistan’s efforts to support the UN Decade and increase ecosystem restoration. We are at a point in history where we need to act, and Pakistan is leading this important effort.

The UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) Inclusive Wealth Report for Pakistan, a first-of-its-kind accounting of the country’s natural, human, and produced capital, found that between 1990 and 2014, Pakistan suffered a decline in natural capital. This trend is now being reversed. Testing said:

It is worrying that we’ve seen declines in natural capital, including Pakistan. But it is promising to see the steps that the country’s government is taking to turn things around, particularly with its restoration projects.

With such initiatives in sight, Pakistanis can expect environmental success stories from the country soon. While appreciating the success, we all must play our role in accelerating the sustainability action too.

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