US Consul General Karachi inaugurates Miyawaki Forest Cornber

KARACHI:,,,US Consul General, Karachi Conrad Tribble inaugurated the laying of Miyawaki forest patch at Frere Gardens. He was accompanied by Anastasia cultural affairs Officer, Lee McManis Public Affairs Officer and Fareyha Fatima Alumni Affairs- Sindh & Baluchistan in the Public Diplomacy Section.

Speaking on the occasion, Consul General Karachi expressed the views that “AEIF fund is supported by the State Department’s Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs. AEIF provides alumni of U.S. government-sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition. The current cycle for proposals is now open.

Mitigating the dangers of our changing climate is not just a priority but a fundamental imperative that resonates at the very core of U.S. Mission. We recognize

the profound significance of collective action and partnerships in combating the adverse effects of climate change.

Afia Salam’s project aligned seamlessly with our mission to curb the effects of climate change. This initiative has played a pivotal role in mitigating the impact of climate change and reducing air pollution by developing an urban forest and building the capacity of community-based organizations and youth through a Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) approach. Beyond adding a green touch to the city,

it contributed to our broader goals of environmental conservation and climate change mitigation through innovative awareness campaigns.

This project serves as a testament to the impact each of us can have when dedicating ourselves to environmental betterment. Collaborative efforts through programs

and alumni projects like this enable us to make important contributions, addressing the challenges posed by the climate crisis and identifying new skills to manage the effects of climate change.

This was part of the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund grant to the PUAN Alumni Afia Salam, that was implemented through the Indus Earth Trust by providing Community Based Disaster Resilience Training to members of 10 community organisations from selected districts of Karachi.

In his address, CEO of IET, Architect Shahid Sayeed Khan said Pakistan is a country in the top ten bracket of the Global Vulnerability Index and Pakistan as its biggest metropolis, faces multiple threats as the fall out of the impacts of Climate Change. These include sea level rise, erratic monsoons and rising temperatures.

The project was implemented in the lead of COO IET Aijaz Ali Abro, through community engagement to bring awareness about these threats, and teaching communities to mitigate where possible, and adapt to the newer realities by learning specific disaster management skills.

PUAN alumni Afia Salam explained that the AEIF project is culminating today with the planting of the Miyawaki forest in the middle of the city, has, through its training sessions, prepared a cohort of community leaders who has play a leadership role as Master Trainers by transferring their learnings to the rest of their community members to equip themselves to be better prepared for Climate Change induced emergencies.

Master trainer of the Miyawaki forest training, Shahzad Qureshi, of the Urban Forest Coalition, said such forest patches in a highly concretized city will serve as a heat mitigation measure besides assisting in air pollution and noise reduction, and promote the return of biodiversity.

The selection of the patch at the Frere Gardens was done through an MoU with the DG Parks and Horticulture, Junaidullah. His department has assured the nurturing of the forest patch, with the assistance of the gardeners of his department had also undergone this training.

On this occasion, Dr. Asma Ibrahim, who is doing monitoring and evaluation of this project, was also present on the occasion.

The trainees were awarded certificates by the Consul General and the attendees planting trees in the area earmarked for the forest.