The mangrove cover increases by 300 percent

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – February 9, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The special assistant to prime minister (SAPM) on climate change (SAPM-CC) Malik Amin Aslam informed, Monday, that Pakistan increased its mangrove cover by 300 percent during 1990-2020 which is a strong carbon sequestering tool and that it is the largest mangrove cover increase in the world.

According to a press release, the prime minister (PM) Imran Khan chaired a meeting of PM’s committee on climate change in the federal capital.

SAPM-CC Aslam updated about the progress of 10 billion tree tsunami (10BTT).

Pakistan is set to achieve first billion tree target by the middle of 2021, additionally, the country is on target to achieve phase one of 3.2 billion trees by 2023.

Pakistan is ranked as 8th in terms of climate vulnerability ranking and is faced with threats of rain variability, urban flooding, increased temperature and formation of glacial lakes.

It was informed that 80,000 jobs were offered during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic under the 10 BTT project.

The meeting reviewed the latest inventory reserves of greenhouse gas (GHG), it was informed that Pakistan’s emission growth is 9 percent below business as usual baseline and also below the nationally determined commitments.

The climate friendly shift was made possible due to increased forest cover as a result of successful billion tree tsunami project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the ongoing 10BTT programme countrywide.

The consortium of three international agencies, including the world wildlife fund (WWF), international union for conservation of nature (IUCN) and food and agriculture organisation (FAO) have already begun their work for third party monitoring of 10BTT programme.

SAPM-CC Aslam informed the meeting that the deforestation rate has significantly been reduced from 12,000 hectares per year to 8,000 hectares per year from 2012-2016 and will further fall with 10BTT success.

It was informed that Pakistan was contributing less than one percent in global emission. The overall ranking of the country vis-à-vis total emissions has shifted from 135 in 2015 to 133 in 2018 on per capita ranking.

PM Khan directed to actively look into the possibility of net zero emissions which may become possible with enhancement of carbon sequestration potential.

Underscoring the need for putting in place early warning system (EWS) to mitigate impacts of erratic climate change, the PM stressed upon the need for water treatment plants to purify contaminated surface water of rivers.

He expressed satisfaction over the progress on 10BTT programme and directed for ensuring complete transparency, including actively engaging with space and upper atmosphere research commission (SUPARCO), for satellite imagery in the execution of 10BTT programme countrywide.

The foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi, planning, development, reforms and special initiatives minister (PDRSIM) Asad Umar, energy minister (EM) Omar Ayub Khan, water resources minister (WRM) Faisal Vawda, Punjab chief minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar, KP CM Mahmood Khan, Balochistan CM Jam Kamal Khan, SAPM-CC Aslam, minister of state for climate change (MoS-CC) Zartaj Gul, SAPM on national security division and strategic policy planning (SAPM-NSDSPP) Moeed Yousaf, and senior officials were present during the meeting.