Green Pakistan project to be launched in July

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The Green Pakistan Programme (GPP) has been hammered out on directives of the prime minister in consultations with all relevant stakeholders. The programmed will be implemented during the period 2016 and 2021.

This was told by Ministry of Climate Change officials to the media persons at a weekly briefing here on Tuesday.

The officials said that the programme would be launched formally with upcoming monsoon tree plantation campaign 2016 in July, the journalists were briefed.

The GPP was been launched on the directives of the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for revival of forestry and wildlife resources in the country.

The officials said that an amount of two billion rupees had been earmarked for the Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Programme (GPP) after the prime minister approved the summary of the climate change ministry in this regard.

“The prime minister approved the summary on May 26 submitted by the Climate Change Ministry for approval of the grant for launching the forest and wildlife protection and conservation programme of national significance.

An amount of two billion rupees has been approved for two financial years, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 of which one billion rupee would be released during the new financial year, beginning from July 1st, under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP),” Deputy Inspector General Forest – Pakistan (DIGF), Munaf Qaimkhani told media briefing.

He said that a total of 105 million trees would be planted across the country under the five-year Green Pakistan Programme, which would cost Rs10 billion during the next five years for its implementation.

The DIGF informed the media that the Climate Change Minister Zahid Hamid as per instructions of the premier would write a letter to all provincial chief ministers to convey the significance of the programme for sustainable socio-economic development the country and coping with climate change-induced disasters.

“What is seriously needed to make the green programme a real success is the immediate requirement for provincial governments to allocate counterpart funds in their development programmes for FY 2016-17 to qualify for the 50 per cent federal contribution under the green programme,” he emphasised.

The ministry’s forest official also told media that a national seminar would be organised. Relevant federal and provincial stakeholders, civil society organisations, corporate bodies and international development partners would be invited to the event to help Pakistan implement the programme and identify potential funding channels to meet the Rs10 billion cost of the programme, he added.

Munaf Qaimkhani said, “International donors will be approached through the Economic Affairs Division to contribute for the programme.”

The Climate Change Ministry Joint Secretary, Dr Tariq Sardar, while talking about the status of the draft national forest policy told the media that the draft policy had been already submitted to the secretariat of Council of Common Interests (CCI) for consideration in its next meeting.

Earlier, the Climate Change Ministry Spokesperson, Muhammad Irfan Tariq, apprised the media about outcomes of the two-day international meeting of the Tehran-based Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) held here on June 1-2.

He said that representatives of the six-member countries out of the 10 central Asian member countries including Pakistan pledged to further scale up intra-regional collaboration and cooperation for tackling common environmental, climate change and sustainable development-related challenges.