Pakistan’s prime minister urges all citizens to plant at least one tree and monitor its growth to ensure it developed into a tree
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday inaugurated the world’s largest Miyawaki urban forest in Lahore as part of his flagship 10 Billion Tree Tsunami plantation drive, adding that reforestation was an essential tool to check global warming and reduce pollution.
Praising the development of the urban forest, he hoped it would “revive” the glory of Lahore as the “city of gardens,” claiming the surge in smog and pollution in the capital of Punjab province was a result of unchecked development and loss of tree cover. He said the ongoing plantation drive was intended to secure a bright future for Pakistan’s youth, urging everyone to plant at least one tree and ensure its growth to achieve a pollution-free Pakistan.
Recalling the success of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government’s plantation drive, he claimed that it had planted a billion trees between 2013 and 2018, and referred to a report issued by the U.N. as proof that global efforts were required to prevent future climate crises. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has warned that some changes to the global climate are now “irreversible,” adding that the climate changes were “unequivocally” the result of human activity.
Khans said Pakistan was doing “more than its share” in working to curb global warming, and lauded the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and his team for developing Miyawaki forests in Lahore.
Khan dedicated the urban forest to Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist and expert in plant ecology, who died on July 16, 2021 and pioneered the urban forest technique being utilized. He was also informed that the Miyawaki forest had been developed over 100 kanals and would have over 160,000 trees, which would grow ten times quicker than a normal forest.
The Miyawaki technique uses specialized land preparation, as well as a reliance on indigenous varieties with varying growth rates, to produce fast growing urban forests.
During the briefing, the prime minister was told that there are 54 Miyawaki forests being developed across Lahore. Officials claimed this would reduce heatwaves and reduce pollution in the city.