Local school children joined Caritas Pakistan staff and other officials in the slums of Karachi to plant 350 trees in a symbolic call for climate justice .
The number “350″ is of special significance. Scientists say that the upper boundary of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels safe for the planet is 350 parts per million. Today, it stands at 390 parts per million.
“Recent natural disasters are just a beginning,” warned Dominic Gill Executive Secretary of Caritas Karachi in his address to the crowd. “We need to plant more trees to decrease carbon dioxide levels.”
Mansha Noor, coordinator of Caritas Karachi’s livelihood program, said tree-planting faced many challenges in the crowded port city. “People prefer buying basic commodities to pricey plants,” he said. “A lack of space in the city is another concern.”
Caritas had already launched a tree planting campaign in Hyderabad area in early October under their National Livelihood Programme.
Caritas staff joined farmers and scientists in launch ceremonies then which have led to 15,000 Conocarpus, Neem, Keekar, Tamarind (Imli) and Jaman trees planted. They are species all specially suited for reclaiming saline soils.
Caritas will be present at Copenhagen climate talks in December campaigning for a new global ethic on the relationship between humankind and nature.