The environment of today is not what it used to be a few years back, the exponential growth of air pollution has been a point to ponder for humans. Climate change and global warming are the two sides of a coin. The potential threats to the environment are both man-made and natural i.e. Meteorites smashing into the Earth’s crust, erupting volcanoes and dust storms are natural phenomena while our resource-intensive lifestyles have also been playing a big role in producing and generating more greenhouse gases than ever before, as well as air pollutants in the form of the aerosols and chemicals.
The difficult question is how to overcome this scenario, we can’t impose an overall ban on road traffics. Similarly, industries are an integral part of modern day life and factories can never be vetoed, we have no choice of overruling agriculture activities. The situation is that we can’t imagine living without these facilities. Contrary to these growing number of industrial activities and road traffic is causing the biggest threat to our environment and we can’t live for so long on planet earth as well. One option is to look for alternatives like use of the hydrogen fuel instead of the typical fuel but this will take some time.
So what is the way to go? What can we do is to plant nurseries and a lot of trees. The cure for the fatal disease of air pollution is an overwhelming number of increase in forests, which have the capacity to absorb Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases like sulfur dioxide and Carbon mono oxide. Each gallon of fuel burned result in almost 20 pounds of Carbon dioxide and a healthy tree has the capacity to store 13 pounds of that carbon dioxide each year, as per estimation trees spreading an acre equals to 2.6 tons of CO2. A recent study shows that Healthy and green plants reduce pollution eight times more than ever thought.
A few years back, Pakistan Economic survey figured out in their report that Pakistan is going to face drastic climate change in upcoming years in the form of intense droughts and floods for which air pollution will be equally responsible. The report of the united nations released in 2017, stated that Pakistan will be among the six countries that will be most affected by climate changes. Pakistan has one of the lowest levels of forest cover in the region and well below the 12% recommended by the UN with just around 2% and 5% of land area covered in forests.
To overcome these challenges, A massive deforestation project- named as “the Billion tree tsunami” was launched by the KPK government in 2014 and around 350,000 hectares of forests have been restored, 16000 laborers being used to plant 900000 fast-growing plants, those are a part of family, having 42 tree species and the project successfully came to an end in August 2017, ahead of schedule, which NGO in charge of the Bonn Challenge, describes it as “a true conservation success story”. Moreover, “Plant for Pakistan” project aims to plant 10 billion trees across the country in the next 5 years has recently been launched by Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan on 3rd September 2018. Consequently, the project will not only help to fight against air pollution but also to transform the country’s barren landscapes into “green gold”. It will further help to protect against sole erosion and results in a slight decrease in flood risk in monsoon season. Eventually, the forests give rise in precipitation and the amount of rain will also increase. The project protects the environment for the future generation.
Ahsan Javed is a passionate teacher working as a secondary school educator (SSE). He loves to motivate his students for practical sciences. He is currently doing PhD in Physics, after being graduated from LUMS. He was a part of Lahore Science Mela (2019) as a mentor while his project in LSM18 was ranked to be the most loving.