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LAHORE: The government has announced the green stimulus initiative to begin green recovery. Only Lahore has lost its 70 percent forest cover in the last 15 years and this is the biggest reason for the increased smog in the city.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Khan stated this while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here on Monday. He said 40 percent of the smog is due to the transport and to counter the issue we are now proving euro 5 fuel instead of euro 2. The Electric Vehicle (EV) policy has been approved to tackle the effects of climate change and offer affordable transport, he said.

He said that the 10 billion tree tsunami is creating jobs. We are not only planting trees but also developing a green economy. In KPK, the green economy has created half a million jobs and these jobs are generally related to nurseries established to promote greenery and check wildfires in forest areas during the peak summer," he added.

The PM's Advisor said the urban forestry is very important in order to expand the forest cover in the cities. We have identified a hundred places in Lahore where small forests can be developed, adding that the main purpose of the initiative is to develop and protect national parks.

We have announced many national parks around the country and a 3500 acres national park is established near Lahore at Balloki. He said the government is going to start a National Park Service to promote eco-tourism.

The government has established 35 indicators for environmental compliance. The deputy commissioner and later the Nazim will evaluate the performance of the particular industry/area and we are also linking the ACR (annual confidential report) with the performance evaluation and the UN-Habitat is monitoring the process as third-party evaluator.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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