Environment Project (2 Million Trees) – Choa Saidan Shah Chakwal
(Trees for Choa Siadan Shah:)
Choa Saidan Shah is a subdivision (Tehsil) of Chakwal District, with total area of 370,658 Acres. (Punjab Development Statistics 2011). The total population is 124,000 of which 7.75% only were urban living, making Choa Saidan Shah the most rural Tehsil.
Choa Saidan Shah consists of four valleys, Chhumbi, kahoon, Jhangar, Dandot. It is a barrani (rain fed) area and the terrain is mainly hilly, covered with scrub forest. There are some leveled plains interspaced with cultivation in the valleys. The weather is hot in summers with Monsoon rains where as it is dry and cold in the winter.
Present Climatic Environment – Causes
- Desolating activities occurred over the past few years as massive volume of trees have been cut and a lack of awareness to replant trees have put a question mark over the healthy environment of the district.
- Soil erosion: The roots and stems of plants create an intricate network that makes it harder for dirt to get swept away by forces such as wind and rain. With fewer plants, this natural framework becomes less effective at holding soil in place, and erosion becomes more likely.
- Establishment of Cement factories: Availability of gypsum and limestone in the hills has encouraged establishment of cement factories in the valleys. This has had a huge environment ally damaging effect..
The 2 Million Trees Project:
In order to remedy the situation, Falah Foundation has decided to plant trees on the hills of Tehsil Choa Saidan Shah, District Chakwal covering almost 15,385 Acres of land in the area. To begin with it s planned to plant two Million Trees. Project has been initiated with the aim of restoring bush land, developing wildlife corridors, providing shade to cool the land and to keep it looking green. Presence of 2 Million trees will also nullify some of the negative effects of the damage done to the environment by the unabated mining of water and rocks by the Cement Factories. The planted trees will provide shelter, nesting sites and food for many types of wildlife. Over time, fully functional ecosystems will develop based on the framework of maturing. Re- vegetated forests planted through the 2 Million Trees Project will enhance the biodiversity, connectivity and habitat values. This is to ensure that these areas will continue to improve and enhance the area’s unique biodiversity and create an environmental legacy that contributes to a cleaner and greener living space.
- MOU has been signed between Falah Foundation and District Government. Chakwal whereby the local Government will provide assistance in mobilizing community awareness and in identification of ownership of land so as to formulate appropriate agreements with the concerned farmers. State land / Shamlat will also be made available for plantation of trees. Assistance of the Forest Department will also be made available for expert advice.