Boosting forest cover: Rs1b allocated for green Pakistan project

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The Government has approved proposed amount of two billion rupees for the Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Programme (GPP) to boost tree cover in the country. Of the proposed amount Rs1 billion has been allocated.

Ministry of Climate Change Secretary Syed Abu Ahmed Akif told media during a weekly briefing here on Tuesday that an amount of one billion rupees from Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) would be released for the Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Programme (GPP) in the coming fiscal budget 2016-2017 to boost tree cover in the country as a part of the present government’s efforts for achieving climate-resilience.

“This is encouraging to see the present government’s seriousness towards fighting deforestation and increasing area under trees, which is central to achieving national climate resilience,” Akif said.

“We are taking efforts to make the environment monitoring system (EMS), so that overall environmental monitoring, particularly air quality monitoring is revived,” the secretary said.

A representative of Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) said a supplementary grant of Rs18.8 million had been approved this outgoing fiscal year for revival of EMS system.

The Rs1.2 billion EMS purchased from Japan International Cooperation Agency  five years ago with assistance from the Japanese government but the coordination among provinces and the federal environmental protection agency hit snags and functioning of the EMS system had gradually closed down since 2011.