Lahore: Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has launched an ambitious tree-planting campaign across the provincial metropolis as a proactive measure against air pollution, especially in anticipation of the impending smog that envelops the city of gardens during the winter season.
Each year, Lahore grapples with environmental pollution, characterized by a significant concentration of fine airborne particles that pose health risks to its residents, particularly during October and November.
In an effort to mitigate airborne dust and promote a healthier environment, authorities are encouraging residents to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. The seasonal practice of burning crop residues, coupled with lower temperatures, exacerbates air pollution concerns.
Taking proactive steps, PHA decided earlier this year to enhance Lahore’s green cover by planting an impressive half a million trees. According to a spokesperson, they have already planted a quarter of a million trees.
In a recent development, the PHA organized three tree-planting drives in Gajju Matta, Khayaban-i-Jinnah, and Kamahan village, resulting in the planting of thousands of saplings.
Under the guidance of Muhammad Tahir Wattoo, the director-general of the authority, PHA is giving special attention to planting trees with a high capacity to mitigate pollutants, such as the Norway maple and Largeleaf linden. These tree species effectively filter pollutants, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen into the atmosphere, and contribute to cooling the surrounding environment.
Mr. Wattoo stressed the importance of residents refraining from burning household waste due to its adverse effects on both health and the environment. He also urged people to limit outdoor fires within the city, as their smoke can create unhealthy conditions during stagnant weather patterns.
Furthermore, he called on stakeholders to champion clean air initiatives, create incentives for environmentally responsible behaviours, and educate residents about best practices for a healthier and cleaner Lahore.