Pakistan offers support to Saudi green initiative

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ISLAMABAD

Pakistan on Monday offered its support to Saudi Arabia for its massive tree-planting project.

In a letter addressed to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the initiative to protect the nature and planet.

“I am delighted to learn about Your Royal Highness’s plans for launching ‘Saudi Green Initiative’ as well as rallying the region for the larger ‘Green Middle East Initiative’ aimed at protecting the nature and planet,” Khan said in the letter shared with the media by a Prime Minister House official.

The ambitious campaign aims to plant 10 billion trees in Saudi Arabia, and work with other Arab states to plant another 40 billion trees, to reduce carbon emissions and combat pollution and land degradation.

“The vision of Your Royal Highness closely aligns with our own Clean and Green Pakistan initiative, which is investing in nature-based solutions to address Climate Change impacts in the country,” Khan said.

Under the 10 Billion-Tree Tsunami project, Pakistan planted one billion trees from 2014 to 2018 while currently, the plantation is underway across the country, according to the letter.

Pakistani premier offered his country’s support for the crown prince, saying: “We would be happy to share experiences, knowledge, and lessons from our nature-based approaches and initiatives.”

Stressing international cooperation in overcoming the challenge posed by climate change, Khan said: “The world has no choice but to tread this green pathway and define a new development paradigm for the 21st century.”

Washington has invited 40 world leaders next month to a two-day Leaders Summit on Climate to galvanize efforts to tackle the climate crisis but has overlooked longtime ally Islamabad.

The US move irked Pakistan and a senior official in Islamabad said on Saturday that its commitment to addressing the simmering issue is “well accepted and appreciated around the world.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in a statement outlined Islamabad’s contributions to the global fight against climate change.

“Pakistan’s landmark initiatives like the Billion Tree Tsunami have won international acclaim, including from the World Economic Forum,” he said.

The Biden’s virtual summit, which follows Washington’s return to the 2016 Paris agreement, is slated to be held from April 22- 23.​​​​​​

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