Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday inaugurated “the world’s biggest” Miyawaki urban forest in Lahore, terming it “just the beginning” of the steps being taken towards implementing his government’s vision for a green Pakistan.
The forest, initiated under the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project, has been developed on over 100 kanals and will feature around 165,000 plants that will grow 10 times quicker than in a normal forest owing to the unique Miyawaki technique. The method uses specialised land preparation as well as indigenous varieties with varying growth rates to produce fast growing urban forests.
Another 53 Miyawaki forests are being developed in different parts of Lahore to create sinks for carbon as well as for better pollution abatement in the city. All have been geo-tagged to monitor their growth and development.
Speaking on the occasion of the forest’s inauguration today, the prime minister stressed that Pakistan had gone way beyond its capacity and had made full contribution to mitigate the effects of global warming.
“This Miyawaki forest will absorb carbon emissions at a faster pace which in turn will considerably reduce the impact of emissions on the environment.”
He noted that a mere 640 million trees were planted across the country since independence till 2013. “But, from 2013 to 2018 we planted one billion trees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone,” said Prime Minister Imran, adding that “we aim to plant 10 billion trees now.”
He recalled that Lahore used to be one of the cleanest cities of the country, but had now become Pakistan’s most polluted city.
“What we have now done is the beginning. Miyawaki is the world’s biggest forest and we dedicate it to Miyawaki, the professor of Japan who died last month,” said the premier.
The prime minister regretted that a report by the world’s top scientists released today highlighted blatant “wastage” of natural resources by humans.
“The report indicates that the sea level has risen to a point of no return, and that citizens must take immediate steps to prevent further damage due to climate change,” he added.
The premier also urged every citizen of Pakistan to plant a tree each. “We must ensure upkeep of trees that we plant. All citizens especially students should strive for the country’s future in this regard.”