The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused millions of people their jobs around the globe. One healthy way to recover from it is to look at more environmentally friendly sustainable projects. And Pakistan is doing just that by offering daily wage workers, who lost their jobs to the pandemic, tree-planting jobs.
The initiative by the Pakistani government is a step towards their project of planting 10 billion trees across the country. The program intends to recover the lost vegetation in tsunamis.
Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) reported a daily wage worker, Abdul Rahman, saying that the pandemic caused lockdown has diminished all his options of work. He further said that while his wage would be decreased at Rs.500 ($3) a day, he would still be earning enough to feed his family.
Tree-Planting Jobs A Part Of 10 Billion Planting Initiative
On 23rd March, the Pakistani government imposed coronavirus restrictions, including a lockdown, to ensure eliminating community transmission of the disease. The tree-planting jobs were stopped too, due to physical distancing rules. However, Imran Khan, the country’s Prime Minister, came forward and exempted the program from halting.
Almost 19 million people have been laid off because of the pandemic shutdown. Government authorities claimed that the reforestation initiative will employ at least 63,600 people. The wages will vary from Rs.500 to Rs.800.
As a result of city-wide lockdowns, many migrant workers have returned back to their villages. These are the young people that have been hired for tree-planting jobs. They have also been asked to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing.
Pakistan 🇵🇰 is paying people out of work in the pandemic for planting trees 🌳. Triple win – good for climate, good for nature, good for jobs!
— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) May 10, 2020
Malik Amin Aslam, an advisor to the PM, said that the global crisis harshly affected the migrant workers, but they are choosing to see the possible opportunities even in a pandemic. He further added that nurturing Mother Nature came as an economic relief in the form of these tree-planting jobs.
Data released by the World Health Organisation reveals that Pakistan has 42,000 positive COVID-19 cases with at least 900 fatalities. The economic crisis is expected to dip even further down as the World Bank predicts a new low in global poverty in over 20 years.
Pakistan’s tree planting initiative goes back to 2018 when the government decided to plant at least 10 billion seeds over a period of 5 years. The move was inspired by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the province successfully planted a billion seeds.
This reforestation initiative is highly beneficial to the environment and has received well-deserved praise from across the globe. The initiative is a strong move against global warming. It is a response to deforestation caused by landslides and floods, which has increased worldwide due to an increase in global warming.
While the rest of the world is getting eager to get out of the lockdown and back to work, Pakistan has become a leading figure in fighting climate change by providing tree-planting jobs, an environmentally friendly solution to the COVID-19 impacted economic downfall.
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