Islamabad, Pakistan (Photo: Wikipedia)

The Capital Development Authority (CDA), which provides municipal services in the city, launched a “plantation drive” in collaboration with the National Agriculture Research Council (PARC). 5,000 olive trees will be planted during the first phase of the project which aims to beautify the city and increase green cover. Olive trees are initially being planted along the Kashmir highway and other entry points to the city.

According to the cooperation agreement, PARC is providing the olive saplings which are being planted and maintained by the CDA. The launch of an environmental awareness program is also planned to encourage citizens to plant and look after trees.

According to Pakistan Today, the chairman of CDA, Maroof Afzal, said that the “olive plant is unique in its nature” and that “these olive trees will not only give fruits but their seeds will also be used for extraction of olive oil.”

Islamabad has been deemed particularly suitable for the planting of olive trees: “Islamabad has moderate winter climate as there is no snowfall here, therefore planting olive is favorable in this season,” said Sardar Mustafa, a spokesman for PARC, according to the Dawn news website.

In September of this year, the city of Oujda in northeastern Morocco introduced a ban on olive trees in the city and ordered their removal, citing allergy risks.

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