Pakistan offers work to unemployed people planting trees


by Esteban Tejedor

Posted on July 2, 2020

Pakistan offers work to unemployed people planting trees

Pakistan is one of the countries in the world hardest hit by climate change: between 1999 and 2018 it has experienced more than 150 extreme weather events, from floods to heatwaves, with total losses of $ 3.8 billion. The Global Climate Risk Index 2020 prepared by the experts at Germanwatch, ranked Pakistan in fifth place on the list of countries most affected by global warming in the last two decades.

An ambitious five-year tree-planting program, which Prime Minister Imran Khan launched in 2018, aims to counter the negative effects that climate change and deforestation produce.

Forests help prevent flooding, stabilize rainfall, provide cool spaces, absorb heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, and protect biodiversity.

So now, the Pakistani government has offered people who are out of work due to the coronavirus blockade an opportunity to earn money by planting trees. The program has created more than 63,600 jobs, according to government officials, helping bring income to numerous families in this financially difficult and volatile time.

Much of the work is carried out on 6,000 hectares of land near the capital Islamabad, he said, as well as other extensions of state-owned forest land across the country. Many of the new jobs are being created in rural areas, focusing on the hiring of unemployed women and daily workers, mainly young people, who have returned to their homes. Rs.500 to Rs.800 is paid per day to each worker, and the tasks are divided between establishing nurseries, planting young trees and serving as an aid.

In 2020 alone, the project aims to reach the figure of 50 million trees planted.


[Photo: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]

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