LAHORE: Schools, hospitals, media conglomerates and civil society across Pakistan came together to plant an estimated 100,000 trees in 38 cities of the country to celebrate the 43rd international Earth Day.
The massive tree plantation drive had been initiated by World wide Fund for Nature – Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) in partnership with PharmEvo.
Pakistan joined 193 countries and more than a billion people across the globe that celebrate this event every year to preserve the environment and create awareness about the catastrophic environmental degradation that threatens our planet.
The campaign was launched at the beginning of the month under the title “Save the Planet in a ‘Nise’ way”.
The official ambassadors of Earth Day included leading actor Adnan Siddiqui; catwalk queen: Nadia Hussain; fashion designer and actor: Aijaz Aslam; television icon: Maya Khan and actor and singer Mehwish Hayat.
Driven by enthusiasm and the spirit to save the country’s green cover, businesses, schools, universities, hospitals and offices took part in the plantation drive across Gujranwala, Sialkot, Raimyar Khan, Bhawalpur, Multan, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Karachi and Lahore to name a few.
WWF-Pakistan’s project ‘Improving Sub-watershed Management and Environmental Awareness in and around Ayubia National Park” funded by Coca Cola Foundation donated 2,000 Chir Pine tube plants for plantation on Earth Day.
Universal Agro Chemicals has donated 250 Neem saplings for the drive. In Lahore, hundreds of students, their parents, teachers, guests and academicians gathered at BSS Canal Side Campus, BSS Garden Town, BSS Johar Town, The City School Ravi, LGS Paragon and Forman Christian College to plant their share of tree saplings in different ceremonies throughout the day. The City School network planted over 5,000 trees provided by WWF-Pakistan.
Speaking at the occasion, the Director General and CEO of WWF-Pakistan, Mr Ali Hassan Habib, said, “a hundred thousand trees is merely the beginning of a bigger drive to plant trees.
Pakistan is one of the most threatened countries in the South Asian regions when it comes to depleting forest cover, which is essential for livelihoods, human and animal habitat, for sourcing many plants and herbs for medicinal purposes and for providing us a balanced and healthy environment to live in. The Earth Day tree plantation drive is our way of creating awareness about this critical issue.”
Hospitals and medical professionals emerged as some of the most enthusiastic participants of the Earth Day tree plantation drive, where the senior staff of Services Hospital echoed the sentiments of the medical fraternity, stating that trees are essential for human health and society and authorities must come together to pledge their support for afforestation and plantation drives.
Earlier, the Associate Vice President of Earth Day Network, John Maleri, had invited WWF-Pakistan and PharmEvo to be the official partners in Pakistan for this event.
Published on April 22, 2013 in Lahore Times.