Islamabad: Today, on the occasion of World Environment Day, I congratulate United Nations Environment Programme for adopting the right theme for the year 2011 i.e. ‘Forests: Nature at your Service’ that underscores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems.
The World Environment Day is a wake-up call for the world community to realize that our land and water resources are under acute threat of degradation and badly impacting life of all living creatures including human beings. Climate Change is posing a major threat to our economy and existence, and this is largely owed to carbon emissions in industrialized counties.
Undoubtedly forests are at the heart of possible solutions to all the environmental problems. Their functions to absorb atmospheric carbon make them lungs of the world and the key player in climate change mitigation, protection of land, water and wildlife resources.
The depletion of the forest wealth has drained the world’s wetlands, depleted fish stocks, and emitted enough heat-trapping gases to keep our planet warming for a long time to come. The problem is even more acute in Pakistan which recently witnessed unprecedented floods that many believe is linked to climate change.
Government is fully aware of the fall out of the challenge posed by forest depletion. Under Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) it plans to increase forest cover from 5% to 6% by the year 2015. This will bring an additional one million hectares of land area under forest.
Pakistan has legitimate expectations from the newly developed mechanism of forest carbon trading whereby local people are compensated for their contributions to environment protection. I am pleased to see that PPP Government has actively participated in international negotiations on environmental issues and several programmes are underway to implement international agreements.
On this occasion, I urge upon environmentalists, civil society and all stakeholders to make concerted efforts to protect existing forests, increase area under forest cover and turn Pakistan green by planting more trees to arrest the negative impacts of environmental degradation for a prosperous future.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326