Reclaiming Nature: Islamabad’s youth unite for tree plantation drive

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Civil society and Islamabad city leadership vow to make Islamabad Number 1 in The Green City Rankings

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ISLAMABAD – The newly elected District Government of Islamabad is working hard to make Islamabad the green capital of the world, which means “Islamabad needs 10 times more trees than the population of the city”, according to Deputy Mayor of Islamabad Syed Zeeshan Ali Naqvi.

Islamabad’s Deputy Mayor joined youngsters in a tree plantation drive held near busy Blue area service and parking area. More than 50 young volunteers, civil society members and local government members joined the campaign.

In an effort to reclaim ecology of Islamabad, the campaign titled: ‘Reclaim Ecology in the Heart of Islamabad’ was organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute’s Pakistan Youth Climate Network (PYCN) in collaboration with Heinrich Boell Stiftung (HBS) Pakistan and supported by Syed Zeeshan Ali Naqvi, Deputy Mayor, Islamabad a special tree plantation campaign was carried out in the commercial area.

The campaign aims at to engaging young generation in green activities and to create awareness among common masses about the importance of trees plantation, and clean environment.

The deputy mayor thanked the SDPI’s PYCN and the participating youth volunteers for organizing the campaign and assure all out support for such green activities, in future.

The plantation drives is an effort to reclaim environment of our beautiful capital, which we have destroyed during last many years” Mome Saleem, program coordinator HBS, Pakistan office said. As trees absorb carbon dioxide, it helps in improving overall environment of the city.

Executive Director of SDPI, Dr. Abid Suleri said, plants are to earth what lungs are to the human body. However, “Islamabad is losing its green character, as result of speedy construction and encroachments in commercial areas” he lamented.

SDPI is trying to reclaim the beauty of Islamabad, through such green activities of planting trees as green belt creates a positive effect on the urban life, he said. “Youth are important pillar of our society and engaging them in green activities would yield positive results,” he said encouraging youngsters to contribute towards a clean and green future.

Pakistan Youth Climate Network, PYCN’s President, Yasir Dil said, youth comprises more than 60 percent of our society and they need to come forward to help protect environment. He said, in this tree plantation drive youth volunteers planted trees by their names, and took oath to protect the saplings for the next 6 months. PYCN provides a platform to engage those youth in pro-environment activities, who want to bring change, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, SDPI Senior Research Associate, Shakeel Ahmed Ramay said during last year, as a result of climate change, we experience severe heat waves, which claim more than 1000 lives. He said that trees can serve as green shelter during such extreme climate events.

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Group photo of participants  who took part in tree plantation drive held near Blue Area Islamabad
Group photo of participants who took part in tree plantation drive held near Blue Area Islamabad

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