The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), along with Forest division of Thimphu and Paro Dzongkhags, conducted a mass plantation program along the Thimphu-Paro Highway on 20th May 2019. This is the second mass plantation along the highway initiated by MoAF.
His Excellency the Sanam Lyonpo officially launched the event with planting of a peach seedling at Chunzom. With the inaugural planting, the event took off starting from Chuzom towards Paro by Paro Forest Division and towards Thimphu by Thimphu Forests Division involving all the participants. The DANTAK officials, as agreed during the coordination meeting held on 4th April 2019 at MoAF, has arranged a tanker for watering seedlings. The plantation sites along the highway will be properly protected with painted bamboo fencing of uniform size and shape to promote aesthetic view of the highway.
Since the national highway along Thimphu-paro is a significant road network along which VVIPs, diplomats and tourists commute daily, the avenue plantation is promoted to give a vivid concept of our beloved Monarchs’ vision of keeping Bhutan clean and green with 60% of the country under forest cover. Besides, the plantation program is also expected to promote aesthetic value of the highway, for which the ministry chose to plant flowering and fruit tree seedlings.
A total of 895 People participated during the plantation program, including 185 students, 15 nuns from Wang Simu Anim Dratshang, 15 local people from Mewang gewog residing along the highway, 350 civil servants of MoAF and 25 DANTAK officials. 1088 seedlings were planted from a variety of species like Melia, Cypress, Chirpine, Walnut, Peach, Chesnutt, Dogwood, Cherry and Apricot.
The main concept of involvement of student and public during the mass plantation this season is to bolster active participation and to instill a sense of responsibility in the field of conservation. The initiative is basically taken up to create awareness among our people and with a plan to transfer the ownership of the plantation sites to the respective stakeholders for better survival of the plants.
The inception of the highway plantation along Thimphu-Chumzom was initially taken up with the directives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests in the Year 2013 to commemorate the 60th Birth Anniversary of our beloved king The Fourth Druk Gyalpo. In February 2017, 670 willow cuttings were planted. Unfortunately, only 5% survived due to many biotic and abiotic conditions. In June 2014, under the directives of the Royal Government of Bhutan, Mass plantation was initiated involving agencies, NGOs and volunteers.
Compiled and Photo by: ICTD, DS
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