STAFF REPORT ISB: There is a desperate need for exploiting massive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) potential for addressing the countrys shrinking forest cover through large-scale afforestation, said Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid.

He was chairing a high-level meeting on Promoting Afforestation Campaign through CSR in Pakistan”.

CSR representatives of automobile, telecommunication, petroleum, banking, industry and top key provincial forest department officials attended the meeting.

“The countrys corporate sector should divert a significant chunk of the CSR funds for re-invigorating countrys ailing forestry sector to fight socio-economic impacts of global warming induced climate change,” said the minister.

Talking about the Prime Ministers Green Pakistan Programme (GPP), he informed the meeting that the prime minister is serious about boosting countrys tree cover by all possible means.

A five-year target of 100 million tree plantation across the country between 2016 to 2021 has been set as a part of countrys efforts to cope with devastating impacts of climate change, particularly floods.

Zahid Hamid said, “No country can achieve climate resilience as long as forestry sector is not assigned top priority as a part of climate forward action”.

He urged the representatives of corporate sector to poor energies and resources to extend all their financial support to the prime ministers GPP. He said Pakistan is the lowest emitter of climate-altering carbon emissions and ranked at 135th among 196 countries. The country is among top ten countries most affected by the climate change induced disasters, he added.

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