Neem officially becomes Sindh’s tree
KARACHI: A long struggle by environmentalists and nature conservationists paid dividends on Tuesday when the Sindh government declared Neem, a tree with medicinal properties, as the official tree of the province.
The decision was announced through a notification issued by the Sindh chief secretary. Environmentalists have welcomed the decision and urged the Sindh government to take steps for mass-scale plantation of this tree in the province.
The officials of the Indus for All Programme of the WWF-Pakistan had selected four indigenous trees for this status and submitted their names to different universities, government departments, independent researchers and environmentalists. After long discussions, Neem and Babool trees were selected for the official status.
It was expected that the Sindh government would also select a bird, animal and flower for the official status.
“The country has a national bird, animal and tree, but most of them belong to mountainous ranges, therefore, we decided to start a struggle for giving official status to an indigenous tree, bird, animal and flower, so that the province may also take interest in their conservation,” said regional director of the WWF-Pakistan’s Indus for All Programme, Dr Ghulam Akbar.
Nasir Ali Panhwar of the Indus for All Programme welcomed the decision and said the initiative signifies the provincial government’s commitment towards the conservation of the natural forests of Sindh. In Pakistan, Neem is found in Sindh and some parts of southern Punjab. It is also found in India, Bangladesh and some parts of China and Malaysia.
According to the official data of the Sindh Forest Department, the Neem trees in Umerkot, Hyderabad and Karachi districts are the oldest in the province. During the British rule, Neem was planted at railways stations and the embankments of canals to maintain a healthy environment. amar guriro