June 17, Tsirang: Tsirang Forest Division observed World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2018 with a theme, “Land has true value-invest in it” by launching the Sustainable Cultivation of Broom Grass and Promotion of Agro-biodiversity Diversification Project at Tashiling Village under Shemjong gewog. The Chief Forestry Officer for Tsirang graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The 32000 USD project was funded by GEF-SGP, UNDP Bhutan for 2 years and benefits 25 households directly and 92 Tashiling Community Forest Management group members in general. The project is managed by Tashiling Serekakthab Detshen covering 15 acres of Tashiling Community Forest Land.
The project is developed with objectives to reclaim badly degraded land through application of sustainable land management techniques as the lands in this area are severely eroded and people opt to substitute land. The project will generate income for group members contributing to nation’s goal of self-sufficiency and increase vegetation cover contributing to nation’s mandate to keep 60% forest cover for all time to come. It will also generate employment opportunities especially for youth and women contributing to nation’s gender equality efforts and employment issues, diversify and promote non-wood forest products (NWFPs) in the form of Broom grass reducing pressure on timber usage for income generation from community forest. It further encourages domestic production and value addition of Broom grass and facilitates networking among other NWFP groups to meet common purposes.
The Division has developed the project proposal in consultation with Tashiling Sarekakthab Detshen. The project includes working modality that fund support of 32000 USD is provided by SGP, technical support by Tsirang Forest Division and in-kind labour contribution worth of 14800 USD by group members.
So far, the group with fund and technical supports has conducted consultation meeting and site clearance work in 15 acres while construction of 70 metres drainage is under process. More than 10,000 saplings of Broom grass will be planted during the project.
The day was marked by planting of 2000 saplings of Broom grass (Thysanolaena maxima) by the Chief Guest, officials from the Division, Tashiling Serekakthab group members and other participants.
-Submitted by Tsirang Forest Division
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