KARACHI: Karachi expected to have an onset of monsoon in next few day's time needs proper plantation campaign in accordance to its ecological system and social dynamics.
Senior ecologist Dr. Rafi ul Haq talking to APP Sunday said planners as well as departments engaged in efforts to turn Karachi Green must be equally conscious of Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) in their efforts to grow trees and shrubs here.
“It must be particularly ensured that alien species are not planted as it would otherwise could be extremely hazardous to the local environment," warned the expert.
Keeping in view the peculiar situation of Karachi that has emerged to be jungle of concrete structures, he said directed plantation is extremely crucial with equal attention towards social dynamics with multi-storyed buildings turning into a norm.
To a query, he said as per FAO recommendation cities like Karachi need peri-urban forests in its surrounding so as to combat heating in the absence of green spaces in adequate numbers.
These trees or forest, he said could also help in producing efficient amount of oxygen needed by growing population that is also being frequently exposed to heat waves.
“Peri-urban forests at the same time accommodate huge sized trees of indigenous variety witnessed to be turning into conflict with city's infrastructure due to their flourishing roots or thick bushes," said the expert.
Moringa or drumstick tree, Indian lilac or Neem tree, Banyan or Bargad and so-forth were cited to be some of the indigenous species peculiar to Karachi and their relevance in terms of being eco-friendly could also not be ignored.
Regretting that these are being frequently found to be chopped off under one or the other pretext, he said monsoon season is also the most appropriate time for their transplantation to peri-urban forests.
Dr. Rafi ul Haq mentioned that a huge space, very close to the mausoleum of Quaid e Azam was dedicated by the city administration for the trees being uprooted due to development work.
“Unfortunately we have largely failed to realize that this process could destroy the actual spirit if consideration is not extended towards weather conditions," he said mentioning that summers are not the right time nor are the extreme winters.
With regard to plantation within the city limits, including commercial or business centres and residential quarters, he said ornamental plants, shrubs and creepers of local variety could be viable options.
“We can not afford water extensive plants and trees in our city nor the variety that are detrimental to habitat of our local variety of birds and other living species," he said.
To another query about open spaces around fly-overs, he said prudence is required with due consideration towards proper maintenance of trees grown there with equal attention towards their sustainability through close coordination between Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, District Municipal Committees and other stakeholders including cantonment boards and so-forth.