Like in many countries across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have forced the people of Pakistan to stay at home and face the risk of unemployment. So the government decided to fight back by hiring people to help plant ten billion trees.
The Ten Billion Trees Tsunami initiative started in 2018 as a way for Pakistan to move against climate change and its consequences. The initiative’s aim is to plant ten billion trees in a five-year period over state-owned land, and so far around 30 million native saplings have taken root around Pakistan.
With the coronavirus pandemic, workers of the initiative have been allowed to continue the planting – while wearing a mask and observing the social distancing measures. And their ranks have been joined by daily workers who have found themselves out of a job because of the lockdown, giving them a chance to still support their families.
More than 63,000 people have started working for the initiative – most of them are employed around Pakistan’s capital Islamabad and in the surrounding region of Punjab, but they generally work whenever the tree population needs growing and caring for.