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News & Events

18 August 2009

Communities in Sindh Observe a Massive Plantation Campaign

Local communities in Sindh planted 120,000 trees during the national plantation campaign observed in the country on 18 August 2009. This community plantation initiative was supported by the Indus for All Programme of WWF Pakistan in three districts of Sindh including Thatta, Shaheed Banazirabad (formerly Nawabshah) and Sanghar. More than 30 local NGOs and community-based organizations and 10 schools took part in the campaign.

The Programme’s priority sites are located in these districts namely Keti Bunder and Keenjhar Lake in Thatta, Pai Forest in Shaheed Banazirabad and Chotiari Reservoir in Sanghar. These sites represent the significant ecosystems in the Indus ecoregion such as mangrove and riverine forests, freshwater and brackish lakes and rangelands.

The Programme involves local communities to safeguard and improve the dwindling conditions of natural resources like forests, fisheries and wildlife species. By building their capacities and enhancing their participation in decision making, the Programme intends to make communities the stewards of their resources. The Programme endeavours to inculcate a sense of ownership and self reliance among the local communities so that their dependence on natural resources could be reduced they could take actions on self-help basis.

An overwhelming response and participation by the local communities at the Programme’s priority sites in the national plantation campaign is truly an example of self-helped development initiatives. Schoolchildren and youth groups also took part in the campaign in which three schools of the Citizen Foundation in Keti Bunder planted 2000 Neem trees on their respective campuses and about 6000 trees were planted by various private and government schools in Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar and Thatta.

In Keti Bunder the communities planted 35,000 mangrove plants on about 32 acres of land in Hajamro Creek. The initiative on one hand would be helpful in stabilizing the coastline and on the other it would be a source of livelihoods for the local communities. Similarly in Thatta district the communities of four villages planted 10,000 trees of Cornynocarpus, Eucalyptus, and Neem around Keenjhar Lake. This plantation would be helpful to improve the environment around Keenjhar Lake. In Sanghar 47,000 plants of Acacia, Eucalyptus and Neem trees were planted on 46 acres of land in 11 villages. In Shaheed Benazirabad 25000 of Acacia and Neem were planted in Pai Forest with the help of local commuity-based organizations and schoolchildren.

Thousands of local people, representatives of youth organization and schoolchildren enthusiastically participated in the event. Representative of the respective District Governments and other stakeholders also witnessed the campaign and extend their support to the community organizations.

The communities have also taken charge of caring these plants. With little support and encouragement the communities can be the stewards of the natural resources.

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