Mangroves – the large trees that grow quickly in saltwater at the edge of the coastal zone serve as the first line of defence against flooding and erosion in tropical and subtropical regions. Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Pakistan Navy

Karachi: Pakistan’s position on the world ranking of countries having most mangrove trees in their coastal zones will further improve in the coming months owing to the aggressive plantation campaign by the Sindh government’s Forest Department.

“Pakistan at present stands at seventh position on the world ranking of mangrove forests as in the next two to three months our standing will further improve to fourth or fifth position,” said Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah who in the recent past also held the portfolio of Sindh Forest Department.

The minister was speaking as the chief guest at the 18th Annual Environment Conference.

He said the Sindh Forest Department’s aggressive campaign to grow mangrove forests on the coastline of the province was like a revolution as earlier it had even clinched the world record by planting most number of mangrove plants in a single day.

He said that urban forestry campaign was also underway in Karachi in the areas of Lyari Expressway, Clifton and Shah Faisal Colony.

Shah said the provincial Local Government Department had been undertaking a number of projects related to sewage and industrial effluent treatment plants to improve environmental conditions in Sindh.

Speaking as the guest of honour of the event, Sindh Environment and Climate Change Minister, Ismail Rahoo, said the provincial government surely required help of the concerned non-governmental organisations and the private sector to overcome the challenging issue of environmental degradation.

He said that Sindh had its own law to protect the environment and also had its separate environmental protection agency but there was a need to effectively implement the law.

He said that awareness campaigns would be conducted to let people realize the gravity of the situation due to constant degradation of the environment.

Rahoo, who earlier served as Sindh Agriculture minister, said that water conservation methods and latest irrigation techniques had to be adopted to overcome serious water crisis in the agricultural sector of the province.