KARACHI: The Sindh government has sought active support of the concerned industrialists, businessmen, and non-governmental organizations to promote the concept of urban forestry in Karachi under which extensive tree plantation will be done on both sides of Malir and Lyari Rivers.
Sindh Government’s Secretary for Forest and Wildlife Abdul Rahim Soomro said this while speaking at a reception held here at Karachi Gymkhana in recognition of the recipients of the 7th FPCCI Achievement Awards-2019. The CSR Club of Pakistan and National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) jointly organized the programme.
Speaking on the occasion, the Sindh Forest Secretary said that the industrialists, businessmen, and NGOs had to play an important role as Sindh had to plant one billion trees in next four years as part of its share in the Prime Minister’s initiative to plant 10 billion trees in the country.
He said that the government alone could not meet reforestation requirements of the province to safeguard its environment.
He said that previously Pakistan was able to fulfill its obligations regarding the international Bonn Challenge against the global phenomenon of deforestation as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the previous five years had carried out the billion tree plantation initiative.
He said that concerned industrialists of the city were under solemn obligation to actively contribute towards the tree plantation initiatives as the industries run by them accounted for major part of the environmental pollution either in the form of hazardous carbon emissions or through untreated effluents discharged into sea.
The Sindh Forest secretary lamented that the project of installation of combined effluent treatment plants for industries of Karachi had been first conceived in 1985 but since then it could not be implemented.
He said that if one drove towards the main industrial estates of Karachi including the SITE, he or she would find out that these zones within the city were completely deprived of tree cover as this situation had to be reversed with the support of the concerned industrialists.
NFEH President Naeem Qureshi said that platforms of his NGO and that of the CSR Club were fully available to do coordination and seek support of the concerned stakeholders so that Sindh would be able to plant one billion trees as part of the Clean and Green Pakistan initiative of the PM.
He said that earlier similar coordination and cooperation among the concerned NGOs and provincial government had led to a major tree plantation drive in Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park in Clifton.
He said that concerned NGOs and industrialists in the city would wholeheartedly support the Sindh Forest Department’s initiative to plant trees on the banks of Lyari and Malir Rivers in the city as it would massively add towards beautification and revival of the lost glory of Karachi.
Senior Vice President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said that the FPCCI had been doing its initiative of the Achievement Awards every year conferred by the President of Pakistan to recognize the services of people and organizations doing excellent philanthropic and social work in the society.
He said that Indus Hospital, Bin Qutab Foundation, Saylani Welfare Trust, Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, were some of the salient recipients of this year’s FPCCI Achievement Awards whose ceremony was held last month at Awan-e-Sadr as up to 40 recipients received the awards for their contribution in different sections of the society.
President and Founder of the Pakistan chapter of Make-a-Wish Foundation Mirza Ishtiaq Baig suggested that the government should adopt a legislation, which would make it mandatory that the profit-making commercial entities should allocate two per cent of their annual net profits for undertaking their obligations related to the Corporate Social Responsibility.
He said that a similar legislation had already been enacted in India, which had a gone long way in promoting the cause of CSR in the neighbouring country.
He said that the Make-a-Wish Foundation had so far fulfilled greatest wishes of some 10,000 terminally ill children of Pakistan as some of the important such wishes were meeting with the then prime minister, Army chief, provincial governor, and Indian actor Salman Khan.
President of the CSR Club of Pakistan Anis Younus said that the concerned corporate entities had to combine their resources for the uplift of the disadvantaged and backward communities of the country without looking towards the government. Says in press release