The Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project aims to slow down the effects of global warming in Pakistan. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: The Pakistan government is considering offering 20 extra marks to students who plant at least 20 saplings. The move aims at boosting the Prime Minister’s climate-friendly initiatives, particularly the 10-billion trees tsunami.

The proposal floated by Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul will be presented in the National Assembly. According to Zartaj Gul, the special legislation is an attempt to integrate young people into the Prime Minister’s 10 Billion Trees Tsunami project.

20 plants, 20 marks

The proposed programme “20 Plants 20 Numbers” will not only encourage young people to be a part of this national campaign, but will also advance our dream of making Pakistan a green and prosperous country, she said.

Under this programme, millions of saplings could be planted every year, which would prove to be a valuable asset for the future of the country and for future generations.

A unique and innovative effort

In an interview with the state news agency, the Minister of State for Climate Change said the step was in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s clean and green Pakistan vision, and a unique and innovative effort designed to encourage university graduates to plant 20 trees over the course of their studies.

She said the legislation would make planting 20 saplings mandatory for a university graduate, while the university as well as the respective district administration would help them identify sites for tree plantation.

Tree plantation to be converted into a youth movement

Minister Zartaj Gul further said the tree plantation drive would be converted into a youth movement and each student would be asked to participate in this mega activity.

Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to make the future of future generations secure and sustainable through nature conservation, she said.

This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that the environment issue was taken up so seriously, she said adding the prime minister’s vision of 10 billion trees tsunami has won international recognition.

A collective responsibility

Explaining the proposed programme for students, she said that in the past, too, additional marks were given to students who participated in the National Cadet Corps (NCC) programme.

Pakistan, 5th most vulnerable country to climate risks

The Global Climate Risk Index has placed Pakistan in the 5th spot on the list of countries most vulnerable to climate change in its annual report for 2020 released by the think-tank Germanwatch.

According to the report, Pakistan lost 9,989 lives, suffered economic losses worth $3.8 billion and witnessed 152 extreme weather events from 1999 to 2018 and based on this data, the think-tank has concluded that Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change is increasing.