Afforestation Lahore Group

Social Initiative

The Afforestation Lahore Group (ALG) is a landmark initiative of the Commissioner Office Lahore in collaboration with the Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) who have brought the government and the civil society together for better health of the city and its people. Understanding that Lahore has lost 75% of its tree cover over the last 20 years, as a result of which it is now ranked the second worst city in the world (during smog season) in terms of Air Quality Index by Air Visual), it is imperative to initiate a re-plantation drive to counter carbon emission along with the other necessary steps taken by the government. The ALG is designed to encourage a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach amongst the fields of art and philanthropy in Pakistan which focuses on supporting research and development – by building relationships with private, government, institutional and corporate partners, both at domestic and international levels. Climate change presents a tangible threat and given its severity it is imperative to have all stakeholders united on one single platform. It is hoped that with this initiative we would able to give nature a chance and allow wilderness to take over. It is hoped that with this initiative a total of 2.5 million trees will be planted in the city of Lahore and in order to achieve this goal, all stakeholders of the society must play an active part.

Mission and Vision

  • Proposing tree cover of indigenous and endangered species
  • Hands-on engagement with local communities and Land-care groups, and contributing to a reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions
  • Cater to the rising problem of smog in the city through increase in tree foliage
  • Effective measure against climate change
  • Diversification and increase in native species of Flora and Fauna through afforestation of the land
  • Reinstating ecological habitat sensitive to the local footprint
  • Increasing employment opportunities
  • Encourage public outreach and involvement
  • The campaign to be mobilized with shared ambition of citizens, governmental instruments,  educational institutes, influencers, activists and enthusiasts both locally and internationally
  • Artist(s), architects, landscape specialists, urban planners, land-care groups and related professionals to play an active part through programming

The Green School Certification Program (GSCP)

Project Secretariat: Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF)
Project Director/Founder: Qudsia Rahim (LBF)

The Green School Certification Program (GSCP) is a year-long initiative that seeks critical thinking and whole systems learning on climate education with the help of art and education, especially in the context of the Global South and with a focus on climate justice. The aim is to empower the next generation of eco-citizens through advocacy of long-term sustainable practices at the grassroots level. Through comprehensive Green School Policy, environmental education curriculum development, community-led eco-projects, Rewilding Labs, checklists assessing schools’ sustainability solutions (within select categories), Continued Professional Training for teachers and workshops for students in both, public and private schools, the GSCP program wants to affect intergenerational change to combat the climate crisis.

Since September 2022, the Lahore Biennale Foundation, together with the District Education Authority, Lahore as the Primary governmental partner of the GSCP has been working on the first 5 schools from the 10-school pilot project.

The non-governmental partner; the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the curriculum partner and has developed the curriculum on 6 themes, that were taught by the School of Education at LUMS on the pedagogical tool Visible Thinking Routines (VTR), who is the pedagogical partner (VTR is a program developed at Harvard University under Project Zero). ICI Chemicals (Terylene Clean) is the plastic recycling partner for the project. Other project/institutional partners are the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC), Youth Affairs & Sports Department, Aabroo, and Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates. Project advisors include Raza Ali Dada, Rafay Alam, Naazish Ata Ullah, Dr. Faisal Bari and Chief Patron Abdullah Khan Sumbal, Umer Rasool, and Captain Usman.

Teachers, school administration, and students from grades 6-8 are targeted for these activities. This age group is identified as the change-making age: where they can impart their learnings through Eco-Clubs to younger and older students within the school.

Project Activities:

  • Research-based and experimental climate change education workshops tailored to focus on local environmental challenges and potential solutions.
  • Continuous professional development through the ToT (Training of Trainers) model for teachers and students aimed at using VTR – an innovative pedagogical method for climate change education.
  • Nature Workbooks distributed to students which reinforce and expand on the knowledge imparted through the student workshops.
  • Eco-Clubs, led by students as Eco Ambassadors, are set up in schools to empower students to engage with environmental challenges by developing a localized design, understanding, and community outreach.
  • Introducing circular economy via instituting waste segregation through the 3 Rs – Recycle, Reuse and Reduce – in schools. ICI Chemicals Pakistan is the implementation partner for this activity via segregated bin systems, and Aabroo Foundation is collecting waste from these schools as a measure of upscaling plastic waste.

By the end of the pilot project will provide the government with a list of policy recommendations in line with our findings, a checklist of climate, and a resource document on how to achieve environmentally friendly practices, and to ‘go green.’

Program Outcomes:

  • Facilitating a network of academics through shared knowledge and student-led Eco Clubs
  • Social media call-to-action to mobilize a new generation of changemakers – reliant on self-help, awareness, and empowerment
  • Instructional resources for and checklist of recommendations to help schools reduce their environmental impact
  • Develop and connect to young climate leaders by involving the local community in sustainable practices
  • Localize conversation about climate change through educational awareness
  • Increased biodiversity and sustainable ecology

More information about the initiative can be viewed here.