USAID Pakistan launched tree plantation campaign on World Environment Day

Pledged on the World Environment Day, the Pakistan Reconstruction Program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday launched tree plantation campaign at every site being reconstructed with USAID funding in almost all provinces of the country. Pakistan state-run news agency APP reported. “Trees bring great role to make better environment and reduce the pollution so we need to start a culture of planting trees and let’s pledge for this on the “International Environment Day”. Trees are the world’s single largest source of oxygen. They are under threat, which means we are under threat.” said Zulfiqar Rathore, Senior Manager for this USAID-funded program in a statement issued here.

usaidPakistan Reconstruction Program (PRP) is engaged in reconstruction of seven buildings for departments of education at different universities across all provinces, rehabilitation of flood-damaged schools in Sindh and Balochistan besides reconstruction of earthquake-damaged facilities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
USAID Pakistan attaches great importance to environmental concerns in the country as, under this program; a thorough environment assessment is carried out for every project that may have direct and indirect ecological impact on the populations and the vicinities.

After environmental assessment, a site specific Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan is devised.
“Pakistan Reconstruction Program holds public hearing for environmental impact assessment before starting construction.

At every public hearing representatives from the community and environment protection agencies of the provincial governments are invited to share concerns and suggestions.
Environment impact assessment report is prepared based on those inputs and serves as vision and guide for all the design work, construction or rehabilitation activities under this program.” said Salman Khan, Manager of Engineering.

The tree plantation campaign started today with a large number of samplings planted at the construction site of Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences (JIMS).

Earlier this year, US Ambassador Richard Olson performed groundbreaking of this 133-bed hospital.
Dedication to improve environment of the region was also noticeable during the groundbreaking ceremony as the ambassador Olson and USAID Mission Director Jock Conly planted local species of trees to mark start of construction work on this US$ 10 million USAID-funded project in the south of the country.
A similar tree plantation campaign has been initiated for all construction sites especially in Sindh and Balochistan where average temperatures have crossed 45 degrees because tree cover has declined and the number of heat-absorbing structures has increased.

Team members of this USAID reconstruction program have also pledged in writing to accomplish one commitment each as corrective action for preserving the environment.

Some pledged not to use plastic bags and committed themselves to reduce the use of paper and a larger number of the project staff pledged to plant maximum number of trees in their vicinities.

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