Debanjan Mar 15, 2021 5:43:00 PM 5 min read

Pakistan Turns Unemployed Workers Into Tree Planters

A surprising upsurge of workers has been achieved through coronavirus in the enthusiastic reforestation project of the country.

Read more: Trees are vital. Stay updated on our mission to plant 1 billion trees

Pakistan plants 10 million trees

Pakistan, in the year 2018, vowed to plant 10 million trees with the intention of slowing down climatic change and replenishing a landscape which has been destroyed by years of deforestation, drought, and livestock grazing. Although this goal was quite ambitious, it has been reported by the Washington Post that the concept of green awakening appears to be taking effect and that the idea has made an appeal to a younger generation of Pakistanis who are better educated, and this has generated lots of interest on social media.

This particular program named 10 Billion Tree Tsunami is continuing for the last couple of years; however, it received lots of unexpected assistance recently from the coronavirus. Lots of Pakistanis have become unemployed all of a sudden; therefore, they have been provided jobs of tree-planters by the government. In this way, jobless day laborers have been converted into “jungle workers,” and they have planted saplings for approximately $3 every day which is almost half of what would have been earned normally by a construction worker. Although it is not adequate, it is sufficient for getting by which can make a difference between starvation and survival.

As reported by Al Jazeera, as Pakistan was struck by the coronavirus pandemic, the campaign (10 Billion Trees) was halted initially as an integral part of social distancing regulations so as to slow down the spread of coronavirus which has been responsible for infecting over 14,880 individuals in the country. However, an exemption was granted by the Prime Minister in the early part of this month to enable the forestry agency for restarting that program and creating over 63,600 jobs, as per the government authorities.

 

As many as 3 times the total number of tree planters have been employed by this program than what it does normally, while the government has extended the planting season from the month of May throughout June so as to maintain the employment of the workers. The majority of these employments which have been created in the rural areas emphasize hiring females as well as jobless daily workers who are mainly young individuals. Every single worker has been instructed to put on masks as well as maintain a distance of 2 m from the others.

It has been informed by Shahid Rashid Awan, who happens to be Punjab province’s project director, that the workers planted 30 million native saplings in the province till now which include acacia, mulberry, as well as moringa trees. He also added that the project expects to get to 50 million trees in 2021 mainly because of the additional hands.

According to a study which was published in Science in the previous summer, tree-planting happens to be an effective way of capturing and storing carbon, and a robust solution to climatic change might take place in case trees are planted in large numbers across the globe. Although it is not going to solve every issue related to climate, it can be quite effective in case it is applied on an extensive scale and Pakistan is making endeavor for doing so with a determined attitude.

Moreover, it will be quite beneficial for the workers as well. Apart from generating money, they will be able to enjoy the fresh air far away from the potential pollution of congested urban environments. It is definitely a fantastic idea which should be considered by the leaders of all other countries.

Read more: As the largest plants on the planet, they provide us with oxygen,  store carbon, stabilize the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. Learn  about why trees are important in our ebook. Receive it today! 

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