Prime Minister Imran Khan has said protection of the country's environment is top priority of the government.
He was addressing the 7th Asian Regional Conservative Forum of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan is a diverse country. It has twelve ecological zones from desert to Himalayan forests which are rare in the world. He, however, said the population growth and the lack of interest for protection of environment in the past devasted our wildlife and forests.
Imran Khan said the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first government which took the first major step to deal with the climate change by launching the billion tree Tsunami project. He said the magic formula of the success of this initiative was that local people including women were involved besides action was taken action against the timber mafia.
Imran Khan said the federal government of PTI has now embarked upon an ambitious plan of planting ten billion trees. He said this year we will launch massive tree plantation drives across the country as the necessary planning and infrastructure including nurseries have been developed in the first year.
He said the youth will drive this massive campaign. He said the environment protection will also be made part of syllabus.
The Prime Minister said the government has also started another campaign under which vertical buildings will be constructed in the cities. He said the town planners need to be more conscious of environment protection. He regretted that seventy percent of trees in Lahore were cut off in ten years which has made it one of the most polluted cities.
The Prime Minister also regretted the US's decision to pull out of the Paris accord.
Speaking on the occasion, the IUCN President hailed the government for launching ten billion tree tsunami project. He said he is also impressed with the forestation that took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the last five years. He appreciated the mission and passion of Prime Minister Imran Khan to address the issue of climate change.