Land restoration coping with desertification and drought

World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year and serves as a platform to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues with this year’s theme as “Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience”. As a plant biologist with expertise in halophytic plants, I would emphasize the importance of plantation to cope with the current environmental crisis.Inthe face of current global challenges such as climate change, extreme heat events, biodiversity loss and pollution, plantations play a key role in addressing such problems.

Plantation is crucial in the fight against rising temperatures.Plants can cool the surrounding atmosphere through the process of transpiration.Photosynthesis allows plans tosequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which can help to reduce pollution. Additionally, shade from trees can lower temperatures when compared to unshaded areas. This natural cooling effect can significantly mitigate the impact of heat waves and the need for air conditioning.

There is also a need to introduce plants that can flourish in arid and semi-arid areas. Halophytes are plants that can grow inareas facing drought and salinity. By growing halophytes, we can establish a green space in those degraded lands where staple crops fail.These plants actively absorb salts from the soil, and the addition of organic matter helps in land restoration and ecosystem preservation.We can combat pollution, minimize heat waves and desertification, and promote healthier ecosystems by protecting and expanding green spaces.

It is imperative that we prioritize reforestation and urban greening initiatives. Governments, organizations, and individuals all play important roles in this effort. By planting trees in our communities, supporting conservation projects, enhancing infrastructure, raising public awareness,  and advocating for policies that protect and expand green spaces, Pakistan can significantly mitigate the impacts of environmental issues and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient environment.

 Dr Farah Nisar

The writer is Assistant Lecturer at Aga Khan University, Karachi-

 Dr Farah Nisar

The writer is Assistant Lecturer at Aga Khan University, Karachi-

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