Monday, 23 June 2008

Bhutan : Dakpai do-it-yourself afforestation

23 June, 2008 - Torrential rain did not deter 75 people in Dakpai, Zhemgang, from planting tree saplings and live cuttings on a five-acre area above the Zhemgang–Trongsa highway on June 20.

The stability of the area, about 14 km from Zhemgang town, has become important for 15 households of the village as a small stream that flows through the place causes landslides every monsoon, blocking the road and posing a threat to the villagers.

Recognising the importance of the stabilising the area, officials from the divisional forest office and civil servants from Zhemgang dzongkhag planted 5000 champ, bakain, bamboo, persia, angaray, walnut and tooni saplings, along with live cuttings of sapium and erythrina.

The chief forest officer, B B Chettri told Kuensel that the land management campaign, through reforestation, was aimed at creating awareness among farmers on the management of sustainable land system through control of soil erosion and improving land productivity. The area falls in the 26-acre community forest.

The activity was a follow up of the 2005 land management campaign, launched by the agricultural ministry, a reactive action to the 2004 nationwide flood damages.

The divisional forest office also identified Refe in Trongsa as a vulnerable area and will conduct a similar campaign and reforestation activity on June 25.

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