UPDATE (May 23, 2022)
In a bid to reduce the carbon footprint and preserve the wildlife biodiversity in the region, the Sindh Government has joined hands with the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) to plant 40,000 plants in the Clifton Urban Forest. This man-made forest is located in the Marine Promenade area of Karachi and has been developed by the Sindh Radiant Organisation, a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the provincial government.
“Addressing climate change is essential for the future of our planet, for social development, and for long-term economic prosperity. It also gives me contentment to see Pakistan’s progress on climate action is being driven by the government and its ambitious plans to change practices and cut emissions,” said SCB Chief Executive Officer Rehan Shaikh.
It is also important to note that the Clifton Urban Forest was inaugurated by Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab earlier this year. Moreover, it has been named in the honour of the late Deena Mistri, a revered scholar who served as the principal of the respected BVS Parsi High School in Karachi for many decades. She also received the President’s Pride of Performance Award for her educational services.
Update (Feb 11, 2020)
The first phase of planting an urban forest in Karachi has officially begun. As reported by leading media outlets, Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently inaugurated the Karachi Urban Forest project.
During the first phase, the authorities will plant 10,000 saplings of Neem, Sheesham, Chikoo, Sumbal and Babul alongside the Lyari River.
At a time when a number of different government and non-government organizations are working towards making Pakistan a more environment-friendly country in a bid to tackle the growing threat of climate change, the provincial government of Sindh also appears to be taking steps to deal with the major environmental concerns plaguing the residents of the City Of Lights. Since urbanization is considered one of the prime culprits behind pollution and deforestation in metropolises around the world, the provincial government is planning to make the city clean and green again by planting the world’s biggest urban forest in Karachi.
According to several leading media outlets, Sindh Minister for Local Government, Forests and Religious Affairs Syed Nasir Hussain Shah recently revealed that an urban forest will be planted along the bank of Lyari River. It will be spread over approximately 26 km of land. A similar forest will also be planted alongside the Malir River in Karachi, as per the news reports.
If you’re wondering what an urban forest actually is and if planting one would really help combat the environmental hazards faced by the residents of Karachi, well, we’ve got you covered.
Before we discuss the Lyari urban forest project in Karachi in further detail, here are the answers to some of your pressing questions.
What is an Urban Forest?
Urban forests are essentially planned green spaces in a neighbourhood, society, city or a region. They can be in the form of public parks, gardens, landscaped boulevards, greenbelts, greenways, wetlands and promenades, to name a few.
With urbanization being a leading cause behind environmental pollution across the world, the need to plant more urban forests is higher than ever. These planned forests are extremely vital for our communities as they help improve the air quality, offer shade, provide shelter to animals, reduce noise pollution and offer healthy recreational spaces. In addition to that, urban forests are aesthetically pleasing.
The Urban Forest Project in Karachi
The bustling port city of Karachi underwent a massive yet unplanned growth spurt over the past few decades, which led to deforestation and a serious dearth of green spaces. Although there are several tree planting organizations in Karachi that are working to make it a cleaner and healthier place to live, an urban forest project on such a large level will definitely make a positive impact on the city’s environment and the health of its residents.
The urban forest in Karachi will be planted in two phases. In the first phases, trees will be planted alongside the Lyari River. Later, in phase two, the government will conduct a plantation drive on the bank of the Malir River. Once the project is completed, Karachi will reportedly be home to the biggest urban forest in the world.
According to the provincial minister for local government and forests, the project will be inaugurated in the near future. He also promised to ensure that only fruit-bearing and environment-friendly trees are planted on the riverbanks during the drive.
As per the leading English newspapers, the Sindh minister further directed the concerned authorities to set up recreational spaces for the locals, including children’s playgrounds and jogging tracks, as a part of the urban forest project in Karachi. He also said sports facilities, such as basketball courts, volleyball courts, football grounds and boxing grounds, will be constructed for the youth of Karachi.
Needless to say, apart from addressing major environmental concerns, the urban forest in Karachi along Lyari and Malir Rivers will also help create more tourist spots in the city – as long as we look after it and refrain from littering.
While the initiative taken by the provincial government is commendable, we should also strive to make our community a better place to live by avoiding throwing trash in public spaces and on roads, reducing waste at source, recycling what we can, and more importantly, planting more trees. For more information on the topic, you can refer to our guide on how to make Karachi a cleaner and greener city for our future generations.
Top Environment-Friendly Measures Taken By Pakistan
Over the past few years, the Government of Pakistan has launched a number of different campaigns to fight climate change – including the plan to grow an urban forest in a park near Liberty in Lahore using the famous Miyawaki technique.
The Miyawaki forest project in Lahore was inaugurated earlier this year, with Zameen.com being a proud sponsor of the green drive.
Here are some of the other most notable initiatives introduced by the Government of Pakistan to improve the environment:
- The Clean Green Pakistan Movement and Billion Tree Tsunami launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan
- The plantation drive for Lahore Ring Road initiated by the Lahore Development Authority
- Treatment of contaminated water construction of wetlands by the Capital Development Authority
- Proposal to set up biogas plants in Islamabad Sabzi Mandi to help manage food waste
To find out more about these campaigns, make sure to check out our detailed analyses on the steps taken by the government to solve major environmental concerns in Pakistan. Of course, you should also take a look at some simple tips on how to make Pakistan clean and green in order to contribute to a pollution-free country.
Please note that this blog will be updated with the details about the provincial government’s initiative to plant the world’s biggest urban forest in Karachi along the Lyari River. Therefore, make sure to check back frequently.
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