Aga Khan, GB government to partner in planting 50 million trees

The $4.2 million for the project will be provided by the GB government while AKAH will offer technical assistance

In a bid to better the environment and mitigate against natural disasters, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), Pakistan and the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan announced a $4.2 million project to plant 50 million trees across the region. The project will take four years to complete.

Pakistan is among the top ten countries affected by climate-induced disasters in the last two decades. Within Pakistan, mountain areas such as Gilgit-Baltistan, are very susceptible to natural disasters including flash floods, mudflows, landslides and glacial lake outburst floods. The tree plantation will help absorb carbon and stabilize soil and slopes in hazard prone areas, mitigating climate change and disaster risk. The Government of Gilgit Baltistan will contribute $4.2 million to the four-year project, leveraged by a $537,000 grant from the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment.

These trees will be planted in 300 different sites by the Forest, Wildlife and Environment Department of the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan. AKAH will offer its technical support for the initiative. AKAH will use its hazard, vulnerability, risk assessment methodology to identify hazard-prone and steep-slope sites, which could benefit from plantation for stabilization, particularly along roads and critical infrastructure. The organization will also help in building water supply systems for hundreds of settlements in the region.           

Shahid Zaman, Secretary Forest and Wildlife, expressed his delight on the project and thanked AKAH for its support. “We are grateful to AKAH, who have joined us to provide technical support for the implementation of this very important project which has a global significance around climate change mitigation. The Government of Gilgit-Baltistan admires the work that the AKDN has done for development in the area. AKAH Pakistan’s initiatives to provide safe water, build resilient infrastructure, and increase communities’ disaster risk preparedness and response in the face of climate change has brought about much change already. Through this partnership we expect a big impact in the future,” Zaman said.

CEO of AKAH Pakistan, Nawab Ali Khan his excitement about the project. “AKAH, P is excited to partner with the Forest Department on this project particularly as it directly contributes to the AKDN’s Climate Change Strategy and to Government’s vision of a green and clean Pakistan,” Khan said.

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