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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam on Sunday emphasised unprecedented importance of civil society organisations' role in boosting country's tree cover and climate-resilience at national and sub-national levels.

"When forests are managed sustainably, it can grow healthy and it also can provide essential goods and services to the people worldwide," he said.

Addressing a tree plantation event organised here in upscale locality in collaboration with a civil society organisation, the PM's aide Malik Amin further said that the significance of forests could not to be underestimated or exaggerated.

"We rely on forests for our survival right from the air we breathe. Being backbone of natural ecosystems and habitats for animals and source of livelihoods for humans, forests also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion, fight environmental degradation, air pollution, improve human health and address devastating fallouts of global climate crisis," he explained.

Malik Amin stressed that it was, thus, imperative that all forces and segments of the civil society play their part in increasing the country's forest cover to make Pakistan clean, green and climate-resilient.

He also urged the civil society organisations, particularly educational institutions, to join the incumbent government's largest-ever afforestation initiative Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP) launched under Prime Minister Imran Khan's vision for clean and green Pakistan.

He said that there are so far many success stories, which have emerged as a result of the implementation of TBTTP. For instance, the afforestation programme has help raise Pakistan's importance and drawn global appreciation for it as a serious and committed country in fighting the adverse impacts of climate change on human society and the natural ecosystems, SAPM Malik Amin added.

He said that Saudi Government has also approached Pakistan, seeking Pakistan's technical support and intending to learn from the country's experience of successfully implementing ongoing Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.

"Having been impressed with Pakistan's unwavering pursuit of green agenda under PM Imran Khan's vision for clean green Pakistan, Saudi government has approached us through their diplomatic channels, seeking the country's support in emulating the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme in Saudi Arabia," the PM's aide recalled.

As a part of TBTTP, historic one-minute world record was set on August 12 in Gujranwala by planting over 50,000 trees in less than one minute, he recalled, which again drew global appreciations and Pakistan's proactive role in pursuing UN's environmental sustainable development goals.

The PM's aide Malik Amin explained that under the Prime Minister Imran Khan's 10 Billion Tree Tsunami programme, around 12,500 students with teachers in Gujranwala had planted 52,040 saplings in 40 seconds, breaking India's record of planting 37,000 saplings in one minute.

SAPM Aslam said that the vision of the prime minister was to turn the country green as planting trees as per the teachings of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) and so was the need of Pakistan, which is ranked among the top 10 most affected and climate-vulnerable countries of the world.

"This is change and this is the new Pakistan, where the incumbent government's pursuing of green agenda as a part of the UN's 17 sustainable development goals, which has earned global recognition of Pakistan and the PM Imran Khan for leading the country towards the climate-safest country," he informed the event participants.

He highlighted during his post event media talk that that we're planting trees for future generations on a massive scale not seen before, while certain people mired into political ignorance seem to be ignorant of this great national task."

"Now, it is another internal challenge of political ignorance that we are poised to overcome," he vowed.

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