Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday kicked off a spring plantation drive in Lahore's Gilani Park as part of the government's broader effort to employ the Miyawaki forestation method to replenish the city's green cover.
For the purpose, 51 locations have been determined across the city where plantation will occur.
Addressing a ceremony to mark the occasion, the premier said that the government will be continuing in its efforts to achieve the one-billion tree target envisioned under the Billion Tree Tsunami project.
For the purpose a "spring plantation" drive will be carried out in other cities as well, besides Lahore.
"I will also go to other areas where will be carrying out this plantation," he said.
He added that a "silent revolution" the government will be bringing is the plantation of olive trees. "Experts say the right side of Indus River is the best area for plantation of olive trees."
PM Imran Khan said that when this takes off, in a few years, Pakistan will be able to export olive oil.
The prime minister encouraged everyone to take part the plantation drive as it involves the future of our children.
"Governments unfortunately only think of their five-year term […] a country only progresses with long-term planning," the premier said.
He said China's secret to success is its long-term planning. "If you go to China, you will see the way they have declared entire cities as green cities […] if you only make concrete jungles, it has very negative consequences."
Speaking of businessmen he said: "They don't like paying taxes, but they do donate […] you will find big donors to bring about this green revolution in Lahore."
The prime minister urged students across all universities and schools to step up. He suggested that designated areas be assigned to students where they each take care of a few trees.
"It is important for them to take part because this is for their future."
Govt will reverse effects of 'silent killer' smog
The premier vowed to reverse the effects of smog which is silently damaging the health of Lahore citizens.
The prime minister said that in the last 12-13 years the city has lost 70% of its tree cover due to urbanisation but no one saw that far ahead to realise the impact it would have in this time.
Counting the lingering effects of smog due to the lost green cover, the premier said that 6-11 years of a person's lifespan are reduced.
He said the adverse affects are so many they "cannot be quantified".
Having grown up in the city, he recalled a time when one would travel on Mall Road and after crossing Aitchison College would move towards Zaman Park, they would feel a temperature drop.
PM Imran Khan said he has seen the city transform right before his eyes, lamenting that as the population grew, planning was not done to accommodate the city's burgeoning needs.
"No one ever cared before, and now all these effects are before you which we are setting out to reverse," he said.