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PM Imran Khan urges Pakistanis to start planting

On World Environment Day, Prime Minister’s Office held an elaborate ceremony with the United Nations Environment Programme to raise awareness about ecosystem restoration. The venue, Islamabad’s Convention Centre, was decorated with fake plants and green lights. The guests were seated against vinyl sofas in its football field sized air-conditioned hall.

“You have to think about the consequences of exploiting natural resources,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan, while standing in front of a giant screen running Instagram-worthy landscape images on loop. “You have to care about the land you walk on.”

He felt that Pakistan can solve its environmental problems by planting more trees and cleaning its rivers. Many countries have cared about their environment from the start, but many others have not, including Pakistan. “We have to change this now,” he urged.

For one, our jungles are beginning to disappear. “No one realised the potential of our jungles for future generals… generations I mean,” he went on to say. Lahore was once known as the City of Gardens but now its pollution levels have become hazardous.

“When the PTI came to power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,we planted one billion trees. Reports suggested that only 640 million trees had been planted in the country till 2013.”

During the ceremony, Pakistan made some important announcements related to initiatives that it has taken to mitigate the effects of climate change, including the 10 Billion Trees Tsunami Program, Clean Green Pakistan, the Electric Vehicle Policy, National Parks, and Green jobs.

Messages from world leaders, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, were broadcast during the conference. Prominent political and governmental figures, ministers, foreign ambassadors and high ranking officials also attended the conference.

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