Tue. Jul 16th, 2019

A Challenge May Turn Worst Unless We Act


A.    M. Khan

Past few days, for those who localise the global climatic challenges, have seen the increasing temperature, and, how it made its impact in the form of floods in some places in Chitral, and Northern Areas of Pakistan.

The news of floods—GLOF generated, came on Social Media in Yarkhun Sholkoch, later in Gobor, Laspur roads destruction, and Garam Chashma road tilled by overflow of water at Shasha; made headlines on local online print media platforms.  The flash floods in Gilgit Baltistan, damaged road and power supply in Upper Yasin, and K-2 road also blocked for traffic, and many of the tourists stranded at Shigar.
Chitral has been a place, like some places in Northern Areas, prone to climatic and other natural hazards, and there are only few small enclaves—villages, in some areas including Qaqlasht in Chitral, safer for human living, and protected from natural disasters.
Today what is worse may happen to be worst if we don’t act, together with the world community, in tackling the adverse impacts of climate change. The Bonn Challenge, since Pakistan being part of this initiative, 48 nations had agreed restoring 350m hectares of forests by 2030, and comply with Carbon tax to be used alternating impacts of climate change.

A recent study, published in the Journal Science, comes up with a target coupled with a challenge which could show its impact after 50 to 100 years later but impactful. The challenge is planting a Trillion Trees in treeless (1.7 billion hectares of land in the world), and tropical area could have 100% tree cover since it’s suitable for plant growing. This study also indicates, to help boost, native saplings to grow on 1.2 billion hectares area. It is the ‘cheapest one possible and every one of us can get involved’ protecting our planet earth, Prof Tom Crwather who led the research said.

On our areas, when we localize this challenge, can create conditions to help growing new plants in treeless terrains, and help protecting the natural growth of native plants on highlands.
Since the government of KP, in its previous tenure, had set the target of Billion Tree Tsunami, now Five Billion Trees initiative by Federal Government, is a right step together with world community, combating and reverting adverse impact of climate change.

On our part of the world we can do either planting new saplings or protecting natural and artificial vegetation on our backyard, and creating favorable conditions for natural vegetation growth on highlands. Since, highlanders in Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan, rely more on livestock farming as a source of livelihood, the community and government together need to invest alternating sources of income and fueling in these areas. And making some areas ‘protected’ (not allowing animal grazing) for the growth of either natural and artificial plants for a specific period of time so later grazing may not harm the growing plants, and few trees benefit sheep and cattle. We can also contribute by planting trees where there is possible to achieve the set target of One Trillion Trees challenge which would help, according to scientists, removing the effects of 200 billion tons of Carbon emission in our environment.Since Carbon Dioxide emissions driving global heating, even locally, as trees grow they absorb and store it would have ‘mind-blowing’ and huge impact on our lives for sustainable development.

The writer is M.Phil Research Scholar in the University of Peshawar

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