2nd June, 2015, Thimphu: More than 350 volunteers including desups, officials from the Ministry of Finance, foresters and other RNR Officials in Thimphu planted about more than 4500 saplings above the Samarzingkha ridge facing the historical Genius World Records Plantation that was going on from 8-9 am at Kuensel Phodrang on occasion of Social Forestry Day Celebrations commemorating the official Crowning of the Fourth King of Bhutan, His Majesty Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1974.
The Honorable Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister for Agriculture and Forests inaugurated the plantation. The plantation of 4500 saplings covered an area of 10 acres out of the 85 acres planned for reforestation this season. The species of trees planted consisted of cupressus, chirpine, dogwood, melia, oak and others. In order to maximise and ensure the survival rates of the planted trees, the plantation areas above Samarzingkha is connected with a water supply and has drip irrigation system installed. The plantation on the remaining 70 acres will be continued from tomorrow.
Similarly, the Social Forestry Day was celebrated all over the country today. According to the reports received from Dzongkhags, it states more than 35,000 saplings were planted by volunteers and more than 25,000 saplings were also distributed to the Royal Bhutan Army, Schools and other institutes. The reports said the species of trees planted were mostly blue pine, spruce, cypress, acer and dogwood in western and Northern Bhutan while the southern and central Bhutan planted mostly teak, champ, walnut, bamboo, bottle brush and others. The plantations were reported to have initiated mostly in barren lands, land slide prone areas, parks, community forests, school campuses, etc.
The plantations across 20 dzongkhags were carried out in line with the Executive Order of Agriculture and Forests Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji wherein all 20 dzongkhags have to maintain a minimum of 20 acres plantation plot each with timber species to meet the rising timber demand for renovation and construction of Dzongs and for other religious monuments.
One of the highlights of the day was the about 100 volunteers who planted mixed species of trees at one of the most dreaded landslide prone area at Dorji Lum (popularly known as Rotpashong) in Mongar covering about 1.6 hectares. The other interesting event that took place in Chukha Dzongkhag in line with the genius world record plantation fever at Kuensel Phodrang (Thimphu) was the 53 volunteers in Chukha who planted 500 saplings in one hour. Though it is much below the world record plantation in Thimphu, it is an encouraging initiative to be tried by everyone to boost our forest coverage to for a healthy life.
At the end of the plantation, the Honorable Minister thanked all the volunteers for their time and energy for taking part in the plantations which will contribute to building a better place for living.
By: Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Thimphu with pictures by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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