The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program (TBTTP) is a four-year (2019-2023) project of the Pakistani government with a total cost of US$8.032 billion. The overall objective is to restore Pakistan’s forest and wildlife resources, improve the overall level of conservation in existing protected areas; encourage ecotourism, community engagement and job creation through conservation. The Prime Minister of Pakistan launched the initiative on September 2, 2018 during “Pakistan Plants Day”. Recently, Pakistan held a national seminar on the next phase of this project, and the meeting information is compiled below for reference.
A two-day Pakistani national workshop has been initiated to finalize forest ecoregion maps and carry out reforestation at local hotels in Islamabad under Ten Billion Tree Reforestation Program in different ecoregions of Pakistan.
In his opening address, Mr. Mahmood Akhter Cheema, IUCN Country Representative for Pakistan, outlined the progress of monitoring the progress of the flagship project of the Independent Third Union of the Government of Pakistan – the 10 Billion Trees Tsunami Program (TBTTP). He thanked the German BMZ Group, the German embassy, and the forest department for their active participation.
Dr Faiz-ul-Bari, FAO Forests Advisor, informed participants that FAO provided technical support for field monitoring activities and developed a system for mapping activities, which is reflected in the web-based in the geographic information system. The use of the KoBo toolkit is encouraged in this work. According to international standards, the method has proven to be very effective. Given the negative impacts of climate change on the country, it is crucial to select climate-resilient tree species that can be planted under the TBTTP.
Dr. Javed Ahmad, Technical Advisor to the TBTTP Alliance, introduced the overall objectives of the workshop and answered questions from the participants.
Mr. Riaz Wagan, Chief Conservator of Forest Conservation, Sindh Province, Pakistan, highlighted the importance of species selection in accounting for carbon sequestration, timber demand and medicinal uses. When choosing tree species to plant in Pakistan, local environmental conditions must be considered.
Mr. Asim Jamal, Project Manager of the Third Federation of TBTTP, said that the selection of tree species for planting in Pakistan needs to consider the local environmental conditions, the specific goals of the afforestation project, the participation of the local community, and the economic and social background of the region. The most important aspect is to use the final inventory of forest ecoregion maps of the region.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Alfred Grannas, Ambassador of Germany, congratulated the Federation on another milestone on behalf of the German Government; the Government of Pakistan played a key role in this flagship reforestation initiative. Sustainable development requires strong partnerships, and WWF and the FAO Federation, led by IUCN, are making significant progress. The Pakistani government is to be commended for its commitment to the reforestation goal; without their strong interest, the desired impact would not have been possible.
Representatives of the provincial forestry department praised the federation’s efforts in developing guidelines and organizing the workshop. They commended its comprehensive guidelines and recommended their use in current and future silviculture and restoration programs of degraded forest landscapes.