A Joint Awareness Program across the border

The Territorial Forest Division of Samdrup Jongkhar in collaboration Baksa Division, BTC in Indian state of Assam on 4 June this year, conducted awareness program on importance of forest and environment to the students and public under Baksa Division, which shares the border with Samdrup Jongkhar Division.

Conducted a day before the World Environment Day, the awareness program was attended by local Member of Legislative Assembly, Sub Divisional Police Officer, Tamulpur, Divisional Forest Officer, Samdrup Jongkhar, Divisional Forest Officer, Baksa, Dzongkhag Forestry Officer and staff of both the divisions and some of the sector heads of Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag in Dharanga Mela,India.

The main objective of the program is to make people aware that forest and environment is a common resource that needs to be used responsibly and judiciously for sustenance. The program was conducted jointly by these two divisions as follow up of one of the resolutions passed in the meeting held in Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam state of India. The program mainly highlighted the importance of conservation of natural resources, both by the people living upstream (Bhutan) and down stream (India) as told by Divisional Forest Officer, Samdrup Jongkhar “The wealth of people downstream depends on the health of forest upstream”. So, this clearly states the common interest that both the parties share for conservation of natural resources.

Save the forest, both the countries are benefited by getting all the basic necessities like food, water, shelter, water and air from the forest and if you destroy the forest, both the countries are at loss by having to face the implications of all the consequences of forest degradation, especially the flash flood and climate change.So, joint effort for conservation of forest comes into picture.

Dzongkhag Forest Officer,Samdrup Jongkhar stated the importance of community participation for management of forest. He said like Joint Forest Management in India, Bhutan has similar concept of community participation for management of forest-Community Forest Management Group.

Divisional Forest Officer, Baksa told the students that, they should pass on the message to their parents and relatives on importance of forest and environment. Divisional Forest Officer even expressed his pride of Bhutan’s rich forest cover that benefits the bordering country of India. In order to protect and conserve forest along the border, both the countries should join hands to collectively work hard in educating local communities so that the conservation of natural environment is strengthened. “Healthy life purely depends on healthy environment” said Divisional Forest Officer, Baksa.The program is first of its kind and will continue the same till we win the hearts of the people for conservation of Nature.

Meanwhile, on 5th of June,World Environment Day, the day was observed in our own small ways by planting trees near the office by the staff of Samdrup Jongkhar Division.

Submitted by: Samdrup Jongkhar Division

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