LAHORE: World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with Thomson Reuters Foundation published a report which has acknowledged PM Imran Khan’s “Green Stimulus” package which was approved as part of the government’s efforts to extend green cover in the county and create job opportunities for the youth, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.
The package is part of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project that aimed at promoting plantation, setting up nurseries and natural forests, as well as honey, fruit and olive plantation in the country.
Under the package, a “Green Nigehbaan” initiative would also be launched to initially provide job opportunities to 65,000 youths/daily wage earners, making them part of the plantation campaign.
The report titled “COVID-19: Pakistan’s ‘green stimulus’ scheme is a win-win for the environment and the unemployed” was published in collaboration with Thomson Reuters Foundation on the WEF website.
The feature also highlighted as to how the project is providing employment opportunities to those who were rendered jobless due to coronavirus lockdown.
“Since Pakistan locked down starting March 23 to try to stem the spread of COVID-19, unemployed day labourers have been given new jobs as “jungle workers”, planting saplings as part of the country’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami programme,” the report stated.
“Such ‘green stimulus’ efforts are an example of how funds that aim to help families and keep the economy running during pandemic shutdowns could also help nations prepare for the next big threat: climate change.”
Rab Nawaz, an official of WWF-Pakistan also hailed the project and said the government’s move is “a very good idea to create green jobs and get people employed.”
“The government should be very selective on how it spends money, and focus on resilience,” he urged.
While approving the scheme, PM Imran had said that addressing climatic issues and enhancing green cover of the country were among the foremost priorities of the present government.
He said the Green Stimulus package, especially the Green Nigehbaan initiative, would offer employment opportunities to the youth and help in promoting the objectives of clean and green Pakistan.
The prime minister directed the Ministry of Climate Change to prepare a plan of action for engaging the international community under the “Debt for Nature Swap” programme to convert part of country’s debt into a grant for greater plantation and environment protection activities.