Rifaqatullah Rajjarwal

Peshawar: Agriculture University Peshawar on Thursday, launched a Spring tree plantation drive, while the administration says, about 40,000 saplings will be planted in the first two weeks of spring.

Prof. Dr. Jahan Bakht, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, told TNN that currently, Pakistan is sixth among the 10 most affected countries by climate change, due to which there were two weeks of extreme heat waves last April, reducing the wheat crop by 3 million tons.

While speaking to TNN, He said that at the end of this century, the temperature of Pakistan will increase up to four degrees Celsius if proper attention is not given to the cultivation of plants and trees in accordance with international standards, while this rate will go up to two and a half degrees Celsius worldwide which will make life difficult for every breathing creature.

As per the environmental experts, the international standards require that 25% of the land should be cultivated, but in the southern districts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, there are forests on 5%, and 19% in the northern districts, and this ratio is higher as compared to the other provinces of the country.

Dr. Jehan Bakht said, “Currently, forests have been planted on 4 million hectares of land in the country, if it is increased to fifteen million, then we can reach the international standard, while, to achieve this goal, the syndicate of the university is considering making it mandatory for every student to plant at least 10 saplings, otherwise they will not be awarded the degree.

Experts believe that 3/4th of forests support flora and fauna and remove carbon dioxide from the air, not only feeding themselves but also providing food, medicine, and fuel for humans and animals.

Unfortunately, in some areas, there are no plants or forests, because people are unaware of the significance of plants and fail to cater to them.

On this occasion, Dr. Sajid Khan, Professor of the Horticulture Department of the University of Agriculture, told TNN that suitable trees are planted for the climate of each region, if wrong trees are planted in the wrong places, then instead of benefits, they may cause damage.

He argued that one should consult a botanist before planting trees or saplings because there are certain types of plants, having toxic substances in their roots, that kill other plants, “This benefits a country a lot but we should grow plants that can really make a difference.” He said.

Secretary Higher Education Commission (HEC), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr. Dawood Khan was also present during the tree planting campaign at the university. He said that planting trees is not only the duty of the provincial or central governments, but the national responsibility of every individual to help future generations.

He said that the HEC will encourage such activities in the universities so that there will be greenery throughout the province.

On the other hand, the researchers believe that if due attention is not paid to plantation and aforestation, by the end of this century, the temperature will increase by 2.5 degrees Celsius worldwide and by 4 degrees Celsius in Pakistan, due to which there will be a shortage of food, and life will start getting more difficult for every living being.

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