In order to save environment, Bhutan launches “Million Trees Project”, where about 60 households of Kawanggewog in Thimphu received 150 fruit trees as a part of it launched in Thimphu yesterday. The event was graced by Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck, the Royal Patron of BES, and Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, the Minister for Agriculture and Forests. About 3,000 trees were distributed in these dzongkhags as a part of the launch.
The five-year project between Bhutan Ecological Society (BES) and Bhutan Foundation aims to promote ecologically fecund and economically productive landscapes which can also serve as community carbon banks.
Currently, 3.7 percent of Bhutan’s total land cover is arable. Of this due to human-wildlife conflict there lack of adequate water supply, and lack of access to markets, an estimated 29 percent (54,600 acres) are unplanted.
The project is expected to nurture over a million high-value trees like plums, pears, walnuts, and peaches in all dzongkhags.
According to estimates, about 200 to 300 trees can be planted in an acre of fallow land. The saplings are procured from local private nurseries.In the future, fruit trees for different dzongkhags will be grown based on the agro-ecological zones.
With community and individual ownership over the project, BES hopes that the project will be successful unlike its few projects in the past. There were challenges in the past projects because of a lack of care and ownership from the authorities concerned.
Developmental activities like road construction have damaged many of the fruit trees planted in public spaces within Thimphu Thromde.
Her Royal Highness Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck, the Royal Patron of BES and officials from relevant agencies attended the launch. Bhutan Foundation is funding the USD 1 million project.