ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday launched the Monsoon tree plantation campaign by planting a sapling at Aiwan-e-Sadr urging the nation to make Pakistan green by enthusiastically participating in the national cause. It is our national and religious duty to grow more trees and protect existing forests and trees, the President said in a message on the occasion. The Environment Minister Hameedullah Jan Afridi, Kamal Majidullah SAPM, Salman Faruqui Secretary General, Chairman CDA Imtiaz Inayat Elahi and other senior officials also attended the tree planting ceremony. The children of the President Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari also separately planted saplings of lychee on the occasion. Spokespersons to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President congratulated the nation and the Ministry of Environment for setting a new world record on July 15 this year of planting 5,41,176 trees in one day at Keti Bundar, in Thatta, Sindh. This signifies our resolve and commitment to make Pakistan green and environmentally friendly, the President said. The President said that genuine and lasting development had to be sustainable. Sustainability of development demands that we protect and enhance the quality of environment, he said. He said that trees and forests were an essential part of the ecosystems regulating water supplies. In the year 2009 that has been designated as the Environment Year I ask the people to grow trees to improve the ecosystems and enhance the environment. The President said that the government planned to launch tree plantation twice a year to increase forest cover of land. I urge all stakeholders including farmers, local communities, forest owners and right holders, civil society organisations, the private sector and students to participate in the drive, the President said. Farhatullah Babar said that the President also cautioned against the continuous depletion of forest reserves over the past several years and called for reversing the trend by strengthening the existing forest monitoring system. As forestry is a provincial subject I would strongly urge the provincial governments to employ all available legal instruments to stop illegal cutting of trees, the President said, adding, We also need to introduce new technologies and concept both in commercial and environmental forestry. I invite all citizens to participate in our national effort to cover Pakistan with trees and make the country lush green.