Pakistan steps up efforts to increase forest cover

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Alvi said that the extensive plantation would not only help the country to counter climate change issues but would also preserve wildlife, flora and fauna…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan President Arif Alvi said on Thursday that the government has been making efforts to increase forest cover in the country to counter the adverse impacts of climate change.

“Rising mercury levels are resulting in glacier melting and urban flooding in Pakistan,” Alvi said in his message on the launch of the national monsoon tree plantation drive.

He said concerted efforts are needed to carry out extensive plantations in a bid to save the country from the horrendous effects of climate change.

The President said that a country required 25 per cent forest cover as per international standards, but Pakistan only has 4.8 per cent.

Alvi said that the extensive plantation would not only help the country to counter climate change issues but would also preserve wildlife, flora and fauna.

In an effort to increase the forest area, Pakistan under its 10 Billion Tree Tsunami program had planted 1.81 billion trees by June 2022, and around 3.29 billion trees will be planted by 2023, said the President.

According to the Ministry of Climate Change, more than 300 million saplings will be planted under the ongoing countrywide monsoon tree plantation campaign.

China to induce rainfall

Chinese authorities are attempting to induce rainfall in parts of central and southwest parts of the country amid a severe drought and record-breaking heatwave, a media report said.

The Yangtze River, Asia’s longest waterway, is now at record low levels and in some stretches, there has been less than half the usual rainfall, said the BBC report.

Hydropower reservoirs are currently down by as much as half, officials have said.

At the same time, a surge in demand for air conditioning has put power companies under extreme pressure, BBC reported.

The two-month-long heatwave is the longest on record in China, the National Climate Centre said.

Provinces around the drought-stricken Yangtze have turned to cloud seeding operations to combat the lack of rain, with Hubei and a number of other provinces launching rockets carrying chemicals into the sky, according to local media, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, temperatures across Sichuan and neighbouring provinces have exceeded 40 degrees Celsius.

Millions of residents have also been hit with black outs in the province.

In the city of Dazhou, home to some 5.4 million people, blackouts are lasting up to three hours, local media report.

They say factories in the province have been forced to cut production or halt work as part of emergency measures to redirect power supplies to households.

Hydropower reservoirs, of which there are many in the region, are currently down by as much as half, officials added.

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