MoCC to Launch Seven National Parks Under “Green Stimulus”

In the context of the “Large Green Stimulus” initiative of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami as a protected area for conserving over 650.042 hectares of forest areas across the country, the Ministery for Climate Change (MoCC) has scheduled to launch seven national parks across the country.

Climate Change Advisor Malik Amin Aslam told APP it was intended to conserve the country’s depleting forest cover and wildlife areas that would cost around Rs2.4 million.

He said the initiative would help in creating multiple green jobs for the local communities associated with these national parks. The Billion Tree Afforestation Project implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) alone generated 5,00,000 green jobs including enclosure ‘nighabans’ (guards), plant nursery workers, field staff and workforce engaged in different field tasks.

Amin said at present around 65,000 people were employed on daily wages under 10 Billion Tree Tsunami (10BTT) Project that have been directed to increase three times for achieving the 20 million trees this year target amid the pandemic of coronavirus.

“This indicates the quantum of sustainable and green employment opportunities to be created under the 10BTT project. It will also give ownership to the local masses of the protected area as its benefits would have direct impact on their economic wellbeing,” he added.

To a question, he said the prime minister would launch the project where these parks would be established in Punjab, KP, Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) which would be fully funded by MoCC.

These six national parks, he said were sprawling on the total area of 650,042 ha that would be established as protected areas including Kherimurat 8740 ha (1.34 percent), Sheikh Baddin 15,540 ha (2.39 percent), Chiltan-Hazar Ganji 27,400 ha (4.22 percent), Takkar 43,513 ha (6.69 percent), Deva Vattala 449 ha (0.07 percent), Khunjrab 554,400 ha (85.29 percent).

Amin Aslam informed that Margalla Hills National Park was also part of these six national parks and comprised of approximately 20,000 acres. The National Parks Service will initiate its working through these seven national parks and then it would be extended to 31 national parks across the country, the Adviser said.

He mentioned that the initiative would help to provide employment opportunities to youth and women whereas it would help promote eco-tourism, preserve natural wildlife habitats and increase hiking spots for adventure tourism as well.

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