Mes­sage from His Ex­cel­lency Ly­onpo Yeshey Dorji, Hon’ble Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Forests on the oc­ca­sion of So­cial Forestry Day, 2nd June 2015

Bhutan Times - - Supplement - Tashi Delek!

our for­est plan­ta­tion record dates back to the late 1940s when the first plan­ta­tion was car­ried out in gele­phu in an area of 3.20 acres. the an­nual tree plant­ing tra­di­tion of the depart­ment was re-en­forced with the dec­la­ra­tion of June 2 as the So­cial Forestry day in 1985 to com­mem­o­rate the coro­na­tion of His majesty the Fourth druk gyalpo, who is a vi­sion­ary en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist. on this day, the na­tion comes to­gether as a fam­ily to plant saplings and share the val­ues of plant­ing trees for a healthy lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment and also en­rich­ing wildlife habi­tats. in Bhutan we de­pend di­rectly or in­di­rectly on our rich for­est bio­di­ver­sity for food and nu­tri­tion, shel­ter, liveli­hoods, health and wa­ter se­cu­rity. our healthy for­est ecosys­tems pro­vide mul­ti­ple goods and ser­vices in­clud­ing clean air, clean wa­ter to drink, ir­ri­gate agri­cul­ture fields and gen­er­ate hy­dropower. For ex­am­ple, in­vest­ment in ru­ral drink­ing wa­ter treat­ment in Bhutan is very min­i­mal be­cause wa­ter com­ing from the lo­cal wa­ter­sheds is pure and clean. good nat­u­ral for­est cover, and the col­lec­tive tree plant­ing we carry out ev­ery year also serve as a means to mit­i­gate and adapt to cli­mate change im­pacts. one good ex­am­ple is the se­ques­tra­tion of car­bon diox­ide by our healthy for­est ecosys­tems. We are happy that in Bhutan, the an­nual se­ques­tra­tion of car­bon diox­ide is far greater than what is emit­ted. this is all be­cause of the good con­ser­va­tion poli­cies framed by our vi­sion­ary mon­archs and the fact that ev­ery year we plant trees as we cel­e­brate June 2 as our So­cial Forestry day. given th­ese benefits, i hope to see the Sus­tain­able For­est man­age­ment agenda dom­i­nate and take cen­tre stage dur­ing the post 2015 Sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals (Sdg) ne­go­ti­a­tions in Septem­ber 2015. the theme for 2015 So­cial Forestry day is “plant trees and se­cure our en­vi­ron­ment”. i am happy to note that un­der the lead­er­ship and guid­ance of the depart­ment of Forests & park Ser­vices, our field col­leagues in col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and in­sti­tutes have made big plans to cel­e­brate the So­cial Forestry day this year to cel­e­brate the 60th birth an­niver­sary of His majesty the Fourth druk gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. i strongly urge you to con­tinue plant­ing lo­cally avail­able species that blend well with our lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment and have bet­ter sur­vival rates. the min­istry of agri­cul­ture and Forests will plant saplings in 60 acres this year in thim­phu. plant­ing a sapling is just the be­gin­ning! We must put our col­lec­tive ef­forts to nur­ture, pro­tect and en­sure that it sur­vives so that we main­tain 60 % forests cover for all times to come, and more im­por­tantly, that we pass on the rich for­est bio­di­ver­sity, and healthy ecosys­tem goods and ser­vices to our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. on be­half of the min­istry of agri­cul­ture and Forests and on my own be­half i would like to ex­tend my best wishes and warm greet­ings to ev­ery­one in cel­e­brat­ing the So­cial Forestry day, 2015. on this aus­pi­cious day, let us once again, com­mit our­selves to plant­ing na­tive species to main­tain the rich forests bio­di­ver­sity and healthy for­est ecosys­tems in per­pe­tu­ity. We of­fer our col­lec­tive prayers and good wishes for the long life and well­be­ing of our revered mon­archs and also take this op­por­tu­nity to of­fer our heart­felt fe­lic­i­ta­tions to His majesty the Fourth druk gyalpo on the oc­ca­sion of his 60th Birth an­niver­sary.

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