“The Social Forestry Day in Bhutan was launched under the wise guidance of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in 1979. Since 1985, it is being observed on 2nd June which is the Coronation Day of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
Forests are very essential for our people who have relied on forests since time immemorial. Food, shelter, clothing, fuel, medicine, furniture, water, soil, oxygen and so forth are all derived from the forest. In Bhutan, about 70 percent of Bhutanese are farmers who live in rural areas and are solely dependent on the forests for their requirement of timber, fuel, fodder and many other forest products needs. Bhutan, in recent years at COP21 has committed to remain carbon neutral with the view that there is no greater need important, than keeping the planet safe for life to continue. The only way forward to make a climate smart environment is to have more trees on the planet.
In keeping with the theme, “Plant and Nurture Trees for a Green and Healthy Environment,” and in celebration of the Birth of our gracious Royal Highness, The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, the Royal Government of Bhutan ensured doing their part in fulfilling the World Earth Day theme to plant 7.8 billion trees by 2020.
Other plantation activities that took place and some of which are still ongoing, were:
- Planting of 108 tree seedlings of five significant species a day after the birth of HRH Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck on 6 February 2016
- Planting of 108,000 tree seedlings by citizens around the country in all 20 Dzongkhags and 205 geogs on 6 March 2016
- Planting of 400 tree seedlings at Thanzona, Punakha on the occasion of the Naming Ceremony of HRH The Gyalsey and Zhabdrung Kuchhoe, by His Majesty The King, His Holiness The Je Khenpo and the Zhung Dratshang
- About 1500 Desuups will have planted more than 50,000 seedlings around the country by 2 June 2016 (4500 seedlings in Thimphu)
- About 50,000 seedlings will be planted by a 100 women in 1 hour at Takila, Lhuenste in an attempt to break last year’s Guinness World Record set by a 100 men.
Let me also take this opportunity to solicit the genuine cooperation and commitment of each and every individual in conserving our natural resources. The seedlings we are planting today will contribute to meeting the sacred provisions of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan of maintaining 60% forest cover for all time to come and ensuring an environment friendly, healthier and safer future for all our citizens.
HAPPY SOCIAL FORESTRY DAY!
-Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji,
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