Pakistan has achieved the UN Sustainable Development Goal for protecting the environment and holding off climate change a decade before the deadline, the UN Development Program (UNDP) and Pakistan’s Climate Change Ministry said Monday.
"With technical support from UNDP, Pakistan has achieved SDG13 well before the 2030 deadline," the UN Development Program said on Twitter.
"UNDP in Pakistan, and Ministry of Climate Change celebrate the achievement of Earth globe SDG13, and our longstanding strategic partnership," it added.
In a separate statement, the ministry said, "Pakistan has achieved a crucial milestone on the road to environmental protection by meeting the overarching United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13," under the “clean-green” Pakistan vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In line with Khan's "Billion Tree Tsunami" and clean-green Pakistan programs, it added, Pakistan has achieved this target, which proves its seriousness towards worldwide efforts to tackle the climate change.
Pakistan launched the "Billion Tree Tsunami" program in 2014 in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province in an effort to restore the province’s depleted forests and fight the effects of global warming.
The reforestation project was extended to the rest of Pakistan after Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came into power in 2018. Under the program, the government plans to plant 10 billion trees across Pakistan by 2023.
Following decades of cutting and natural calamities, the country's total forest cover ranges between 2% and 5%, well below the 12% recommended by the UN.
By Aamir Latif in Karachi