PESHAWAR - Pakistan-Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday launched Green Ribbon campaign “One Tree One Life” as he was joined by hundreds of students in Peshawar to mark the International Day of Forests by planting 100,000 trees under the umbrella of the billion tree tsunami drive.

Addressing on the occasion, Imran Khan congratulated the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government for their perseverance in carrying out the billion tree campaign and turning the vision into a reality. “These efforts are being recognised by the global community, including international forestry organisations. It is the result of the cooperation of government and citizens that even in remote mountainous areas locals were engaged to nurture tree nurseries and in return providing a boost to the local economy as well,” he added.

PTI Chief congratulated the youth and Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Riaz Mehsood for planted over 100,000 trees in just one day. He said that so far in one year they have planted 500 million trees in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said that the life is very short but these trees would be for upcoming generation. He said that these trees would save the people from floods and would clean the environment.

He said that Regi Model Town would be one of the best towns of the world. He said that with mutual discussion of tribal people this town would be established for the common people. He said that they know the grievances of tribal people regarding the Ragi Model Town and all their grievances would be addressed with mutual discussion. He said that they would achieve their target of one billon trees plantation across the province.

Commenting on Pak-India cricket match, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said that he was disappointed with team performance after Pakistan Cricket team lost match with India. However, he hoped for better performance of the team in upcoming matches.

“After Pakistan cricket team lost with India I was very upset but the warm welcome of Peshawar people and great interest of youth in tree plantation boost- p my courage,” Khan remarked.

International Day of Forests is observed annually on March 21 to raise awareness of the importance of forests to people. Forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world.

Around 1.6 billion people, including more than 2,000 indigenous species depend on forests for their livelihood and yet global deforestation continues at an alarming rate - 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The theme for this year is “Forests and Water”.

Khyber Pakhtunkawa province is the first in Pakistan to start a massive forestation campaign. In 70-year history of the country only 600 million trees have been planted.

Soon after PTI formed the government in 2013, it had announced that 1 billion trees will be planted in the province over the next five years. The project was initially mocked by the opposition parties but its steady success and international acclaim has managed to silence the critics.