Go green, plant trees in Balochistan 
Plants planted by TF in one of the remote areas of Balochistan: Photo provided by TF

Go green, plant trees in Balochistan 

Asim Hanif : 

The initiative of the Ten Billion Trees Tsunami Programme (TBTTP) by the Govt. of Pakistan though sounds ambitious but is a testament to the broader vision and seriousness towards addressing the issue of climate change and limited economic opportunities in the country.

Taraqee Foundation (TF) is a non-profit organization working since 1994 for the development of civil society and marginalized communities in deprived areas of Balochistan and other target regions, focusing on Social Mobilization, Health, Education, Environment & Infrastructure, Livelihood, Disaster Risk Management, Agriculture & Forest, Women Empowerment and Gender Equity.

TF determines to create livelihood opportunities

TF aimed to target communities of Balochistan by creating livelihood opportunities in terms of immediate temporary employment, supporting the most vulnerable households to meet their immediate needs, and support the socio-economic conditions of the people affected by COVid-19. TF keeping its mandate and its Environment and Infrastructure Program continuing its efforts to plan and execute the ecosystem-friendly interventions. TF with the support of the United Nations Development Program – UNDP Pakistan, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund – PPAF, Forest and Wildlife Department, Government of Balochistan, has initiated a Mass Tree Plantation Campaign titled “Chand Meri Zameen – Phool Mera Watan” in Quetta Urban (25,000 Plants), Maseelakh (42,000 Plants), Band Khushdil Khan (30,000 Plants) Pishin and Nushki (35,000 Plants) while at this point in time there are several communities and other stakeholders including government departments are joining hands to contribute the campaign from all the districts of Balochistan.

The campaign brought all stakeholders together

The campaign is bringing together various stakeholders including the Government of Balochistan, Local and International Organizations, UN Agencies, Students, General Public, and volunteers for the cause to make the Province “Clean and Green”.

The campaign is now at its peak with regard to the Tree plantation and TF intends to keep this momentum and create further awareness towards achieving the objectives of UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030. Keeping in view the above-mentioned TF’s interventions and objectives of the following series of activities are proposed.

This situation calls for initiatives such as forestation, protection of the ecosystem, conservation of natural resources, and activities that generate livelihood opportunities. TF in partnership with UNDP has successfully planted mangroves along the coastal belt of Gwadar, under the project of “Strengthening tsunami and earthquake preparedness project in the coastal area of Pakistan”. The project was implemented in close coordination with Forest and Wildlife Department & local communities, in order to build their own and ensure the sustainability of the intervention. The propagules/seeds were procured with the support of the line Department through community participation in different locations. The project target was to plant 360,000 seeds, due to strong coordination and advocacy 50,000 additional seeds were contributed by the Forest Department, raising the number of propagules/seeds to 410000, which were planted on two different sites consisting of 100 hectares (Kawari Hor & Shahbi Hor).

TBTTP to protect shoreline, improve the ecosystem for marinelife 

The objective of this intervention along with contributing toward TBTTP was to protect the shoreline, improve the ecosystem for marine life and increase livelihood opportunities. Mangroves maintain water quality and clarity, filtering pollutants and trapping sediments originating from land. They serve as valuable nurseries for fishes and invertebrates. They also stabilize & protect shorelines from erosion and sediments with their tangled root systems. Mangrove habitats provide a rich source of food while also offering refuge to various species from predation, and also provide support to threatened and endangered species.

The recent catastrophe, the tropical cyclonic storm ‘Shaheen’ hit the northern Arabian Sea with heavy rain and strong winds, causing damages to human property and living. The area along the Makran coast had to bear the brunt, the sea condition remained rough, high surge, resulting in affecting the livelihood of fishermen. On the other hand due to heavy rain and tidal influence freshwater assimilated to the mangroves’ planted sites of the shoreline, creating an opportunity for propagules to grow stronger and healthier.

Given the area of the coastal belt that comprises thousands of km, such interventions if expanded will contribute heavily toward the improved environment and economic situation.

The author is a senior manager at TF 

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.