Pakistan hit its billion tree goal in August 2017 – months ahead of schedule.
Now, the hills of the country’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are alive with newly planted saplings.
The massive reforestation project – named the Billion Tree Tsunami – added 350,000 hectares of trees both by planting and natural regeneration, in an effort to restore the province’s depleted forests and fight the effects of climate change.
Figures for the country’s total forest cover range between around 2% and 5% of land area.
Nevertheless, Pakistan has one of the lowest levels of forest cover in the region and well below the 12% recommended by the UN.
Cricket-star turned politician Imran Khan, whose Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party governs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, spearheaded the Billion Tree Tsunami, which started in 2014 and cost $169 million.
However, the Billion Tree Tsunami has attracted criticism as well as praise within Pakistan, and an official inquiry into allegations of corruption has been launched. »