Pakistan’s arid climate and rocky deserts may seem an unlikely place to look for a green revolution, but the nation of more than 200 million people has begun one of the world’s largest reforestation programs.
The government is in the first phase of planting 3.25 billion trees at an estimated cost of around 105 billion rupees ($650 million), Malik Amin Aslam, minister for climate change said in an interview. Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to extend that to almost 10 billion by the time his term in office ends in 2023.
We are trying to unleash a green economy,” Aslam said by phone.
The task is enormous. Pakistan is among the six countries that face the biggest impact from climate change, according to the United Nations, with risks of floods, melting glaciers and droughts. Its forest cover is now among the lowest in the world – about 5% of the land, compared with a global average of 31%, according to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.