Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project, Pakistan

The government has targeted the forest area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for a major enhancement. Conflicts between state authorities and ethnic Gujjars have emerged over forest enclosures.


In the backdrop of the debates over accelerated deforestation, environmental degradation and climate change in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province’s ruling party, the Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), started the Green Growth Initiative (GCI) in 2014. The initiative laid out a strategy for the greening of economic activities in Pakistan and included the Billion Tree Tsunami Project (BTTAP), the KPK National Parks project, and the Community Micro-Hydel project. This case focuses on the Billion Tree Tsunami Project, a project that proposes to plant 1 billion trees in the province. [1]

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Basic Data
NameBillion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project, Pakistan
ProvinceKhyber PakhtunKhwa
SiteMultiple cities
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific CommoditiesLand
Ecosystem Services
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project has two major components.

1. Plantation: Under this program, 550 million tree saplings will be planted over 250,000 hectares [2].

2. Regeneration through enclosures: The other major component of the BTTAP project is natural regeneration. For this purpose, around 450 million trees will be generated in enclosures; patches of forest where no activity is allowed. These enclosures are in reserve forests, which are state-owned forests [1]. Around 3,500 enclosures have been established throughout the province, with the total area under enclosure being 37,5000 hectares.
Project Area (in hectares)625,000
Level of Investment (in USD)47,809,167
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationunknown
Start Date01/03/2014
Relevant government actorsGovt. of KPK, Pakistan

Department of Forest, Wildlife and Environment
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Landless peasants
ethnic Gujjars
Forms of MobilizationMedia based activism/alternative media
Property damage/arson
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Other Environmental impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseMigration/displacement
Do you consider this as a success?No
Sources and Materials

[4] Sultan-i-Rome, (2016). Land and forest governance in Swat. Lahore: Oxford university press.

[5] Ashraf, U. (2018). Political Ecology of afforestation in Pakistan. Ecología Política, 55 (1).
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[1] The News on Sunday, 7 January 2018 "Shady trees". (accessed online 12.09.2018).
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[3] Jamhoor Media 02 Feburaru 2018, “Marginalized by conservation”. (accessed 10.02.2017)
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[2] BTTAP (2014). ‘Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project’. Accessed online 10.09.2018
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Media Links

Other Documents

BTTP Project Source and Credit: BTTP,!
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Seedlings Source and Credit: BTTP,!
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Meta Information
ContributorUsman Ashraf, alumnus ISS, The Hague. [email protected]
Last update03/10/2018