The Billion Tree Tsunami project in Pakistan has been a success. About 730 million trees were regrown using various forestry measures for regeneration, and three hundred million seedlings were planted using about 40 different species in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Also, nine million eucalyptus trees were planted in Heroshah in 2015-2016 by 16,000 laborers. They are a fast-growing species, so they can provide benefits to landscapes which have been stripped resulting in problems with erosion.“We are 100% confident that the figure about the billion trees is correct,” said Kamran Hussain, a manager of the Pakistani branch of the World Wildlife Fund.
The enormous project was only started several years ago, and cost the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government $169 million. About 5.2% of Pakistan is covered by trees.
Excessive tree cutting and some devastation by the Taliban years ago contributed to the loss of Pakistan’s tree cover. Mohammad Jawad, a forest officer for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said, “it is largely believed that the Taliban have destroyed 80 percent of those forests.”
Some people living in heavily forested areas were receiving annual royalties from logging, but after the Taliban cut so many trees for themselves their earnings dropped by as much as 90%, reportedly.
The UN has noted multiple important benefits generated by forests, saying “Forests provide many significant resources and functions including wood products and non-wood products, recreational opportunities, habitat for wildlife, conservation of biological diversity, water and soil, and play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle. They support employment and traditional uses, and biodiversity.” They also prevent erosion, provide shelter and food for animals and generate oxygen. Some trees produce for food humans and forests are extremely valuable to human economies.
If would like to see the value of tree benefits in your area, enter your zip code in this tree benefit calculator.
Image Credit: Daud Ahmad99, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
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