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imzxcvbgfdISLAMABAD: UN-HABITAT has launched a tree plantation campaign for the benefit of communities in areas affected by devastating floods during 2010 and 2011.

The UN agency aims at planting 200,000 saplings in 400 villages in view of massive tree cutting in the affected areas for the purposes of reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Trees are being cut from nearby forests of affected areas without any plans of reforestation, a press release of UN-Habitat said here on Friday.

Cutting of trees contributes to increased soil erosion, drought, water logging and occurrence of erratic rains.

This also results in decrease in carbon sink through significant increase in carbon dioxide levels and other associated gases.

Families in the affected areas, besides using timber for the shelter construction, use fodder and wood as fuel, which results in deforestation.

This acts as a catalyst towards global warming and has a negative impact on the environment, the local economy, flood resilience and sustenance of the extremely poor.

To mitigate such negative impacts and its associated consequences, it is imperative to mobilize affected communities to plant trees at places such as the kitchen gardens, schools, mosques, or communal land.

The current success rate of tree plantation is very low as individuals are not involved in plantation. UN-HABITAT has thus seized the opportunity to launch a massive tree plantation campaign with participation of the communities and to reach out to as many as 30,000 families across the country.

Trees are being planted at villages with the involvement of beneficiary households with aims to compensate for or improve the greenery in villages, to reduce environmental degradation and affects of harsh summers, to provide improved local access to fruit, fuel and fodder and to raise awareness among the affected communities while promoting the trend of tree plantation.

The forest department will be providing technical assistance to the communities for appropriate selection of trees, plantation and their lateron caring. The campaign will last for 45 days though the benefits will be reaped during years to come.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012

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