Tree-planting program in Pakistan benefits out-of-work laborers and the environment

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Catherine Garcia
·1 min read
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Thousands of laborers in Pakistan who were out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic are being hired by the government to plant millions of trees across the country.

To slow down the spread of COVID-19, the country went on lockdown late last month. Two years ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami program, with the goal of planting that many trees over the course of five years in order to counter extreme weather linked to climate change. The program was briefly put on pause when the lockdown began, but Khan started it back up again, creating more than 63,600 jobs, Reuters reports.

There is a focus on hiring women and young people. Workers are all maintaining social distancing and wearing masks as they plant saplings, serve as forest firefighters, and set up nurseries. The goal is to plant 50 million trees this year on state-owned forest land, making this program beneficial for the laborers and the environment. "All of us now have a way of earning daily wages again to feed our families," construction worker Abdul Rahman told Reuters.

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