Pakistan Cables – Leading the Way Towards Urban ForestsMuhammad Shahid
Did you know that cities occupy just two percent of the world’s land? According to the United Nations, cities account for over 60 percent of global energy consumption, 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 70 percent of global waste. In 1990, there were 10 mega cities with more than 10 million inhabitants. Today, over 50 percent of the global population lives in cities and by 2050 that number will rise to 70 percent. Imagine the impact of rapid growth in urban centers on the world’s natural resources and our environment today and tomorrow …
Thankfully newer techniques and technologies, like cultivating urban forests are emerging to make cities a cleaner and greener. An urban forest is a forest that grows within a city, town or a suburb. Urban forests have also picked up momentum around the world.
I’m proud to share with you that Pakistan Cables has taken the concept of an urban forest one step further and has successfully developed an industrial forest, the first of its kind in Pakistan to the best of our knowledge. The Pakistan Cables Urban Forest is spread across 2.5 acres at our new under construction facility in Nooriabad and is home to approximately 40,000 trees.
Based on the proven method of urban forestation from Japan and developed by Mr. Akira Miyawaki, it has been implemented by renowned urban forest expert, Mr. Shahzad Qureshi in Pakistan.
Why harness the power of urban trees?
The environmental, economic and sociological benefits of trees and various other plants are well understood. Concisely, some key benefits of trees are:
1. Improvement of air quality
2. Trees in urban and industrial areas can cool the air, reducing the need for air conditioning by 30 percent,
3. An urban forest nurtures biodiversity as it creates a natural eco-system, attracting birds, butterflies and other animals.
4. Forests and urban forestry also play a crucial part in the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals. These are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a roadmap to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
5. Studies also indicate that trees boost happiness hence they’re fantastic for mental health and well-being.
6. Forests shield us against future pandemics. This is a need of the hour as we learn to live in the era of one such pandemic, COVID-19. According to the United Nations, at present, 60 per cent of all infectious diseases and 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. These diseases originate from the transfer of pathogens from animals to humans, and they usually occur when natural landscapes, such are forests, are being cleared.
Our journey started a little over a year ago, when we embarked upon planting of trees at the Pakistan Cables new factory site, construction of which is underway at Nooriabad. Fifty-nine indigenous species have been planted, some of which include: amla, anar, amaltas, bharma, injeer, mango, mulberry, neem, pepil, such chane, kikar, khobani and so on. It is designed as a self-sustaining eco-system.
(From L to R): Kamal A. Chinoy (Executive Director), Mustapha A. Chinoy (Chairman) and Fahd K. Chinoy (CEO), March 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project, to tackle climate change, is appreciable as it also promotes the green vision for Pakistan. This makes the Pakistan Cables initiative a platform that supports the national and international vision of a greener planet in every way. It also sets the tone for the industrial sector to play its role.
The transformation of the arid desert like environment in Nooriabad into a thriving and flourishing forest should motivate other industrial players to come forth and do their part.
In the coming days, we will work closely across communities to inspire action among other businesses to step forward and pledge to environmental conservation. We believe that together we collaborate and safeguard the interests and well-being of our planet. Well captured by Neil Young’s lyrics,
“Respect Mother Earth and her healing ways. Or trade away, our children’s days.”