24 June, Wangdue: The 600th Community Forest (CF) in Bhutan- the Goenkha Community Forest under Phangyul Geog, Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag was handed over to the Community Forest Management Group (CFMG) by His Excellency Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister of Agriculture & Forests yesterday. The CF has an area of 35.25 hectares (87.07 acres) with 28 households forming the CFMG.
His Excellency spoke at length on the importance of conserving our environment, the benefits our farmers derive from the forests and the inter-dependence of agriculture, livestock and forestry. He reminded the CFMG that ‘with the rights comes the responsibilities’ and now that they have the right to use the resources from their CF, they should also ensure to protect, manage and use the resources sustainably.
He informed the gathering that Bhutan is one of the few countries in the world which still has a very high percentage of forest cover and rich environment intact mainly because of the visionary leadership of our beloved Fourth Druk Gyalpo. Hence finding it the most befitting occasion, the handover of this 600th CF was dedicated to the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
With this handover, the number of established CFs in Bhutan stands at 600 covering an area of 66,934 hectares and involving 25,663 households as CFMGs. Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag has the highest number of CFs; 67 covering an area of 4,980.7 hectares and involving 1982 households.
The event was also attended by the Venerable Lam Neten of Wangdiphodrang, Dasho Dzongdas of Wangdue and Punakha, the Joint Managing Director of Punatsangchu Hydropower Project Authority and the Members of Parliament of Nyisho-Sephu, Kabji-Talo and Limbukha-Tewang Constituencies, Gups of Sha Dargyel and RNR officials from Thimphu and Wangdue besides the CFMG and local people.
–Reported by DoFPS with Photo by Choidup Zangpo
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