PAKISTAN plants hundreds of millions of trees. For the change is drastic around the region of Heroshah, previously arid hills are now covered with forest as far as the horizon.

In north western Pakistan, hundreds of millions of trees have been planted to fight deforestation.

In 2015 and 2016 some 16,000 labourers planted more than 900,000 fast-growing eucalyptus trees at a regular, geometric intervals in Heroshah - and the titanic task is just a fraction of the efforts across the province of  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"Before it was completely burnt land. Now they have  'green gold'  in their hands,'' commented forest manager Pervaiz Manan as he displayed pictures of the site previously, when only sparse blades of tall grass interrupted the monotonous landscape.

The new trees will reinvigorate the area's scenic beauty , act as a control against corrosion, help mitigate climate change,  decrease the chances of floods and increase the chances of precipitation, says Manan,  who oversaw the revegetation of Heroshah.

Residents also see them as economic boost    -which, officials hope,  will deter them from cutting the new growth down to use as firewood in a region where electricity can be sparse.

''Now our hills are useful, our fields became useful."says driver  Ajbir Shah. Ït' is a huge benefit for us."

Further north, in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa's  Swat, many of the high valleys were denuded by the Pakistan Taliban during their reign from 2006 to  2009.

Now they're covered in Pine saplings. ''You can't walk without without stepping on a seedling,'' smiles Yusafa Khan, another forest department worker.

The Heroshah and Swat plantations are part of the ''Billion Tree Tsunami"a provincial government programme that has seen a total of 300 million trees of 42 different species planted across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A further 150 million plants were given to landowners, while strict forest regeneration measures have allowed regrowth of 730 million  trees, - roughly 1.2 billion new trees in total, the programme's management says.


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