Social forestry

Free tree

Social Forestry Day is good time to reflect on the health of our forests, and to help nurture them by planting trees around our homes, schools, villages, towns, and in barren hillsides.

So we – my family, that is – were happy that we had the opportunity to do something different yesterday: we saved a few trees!

Yes, I’m being dramatic, I know. What we did do was uproot a few of the smaller trees (small plants actually, especially rhododendron) along the Taba – Langjophakha road and transplant them in front of our house.  The trees were destined to be destroyed, as they were in the path of the road-widening project that is currently going on along the road to Taba.

If they survive, we would have, in a way, saved them!


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  1. We need to understand the value of ur trees by visiting deserts or places with less trees. Although we have a large % of our land under forests, we have the habit of cutting trees mercilessly, especially in the rural areas. I think the Bhutanese traditional houses which are mostly made of wood is also not sustainable and we need to look at improving. For example, how many trees would lose their lives to build houses that were burnt at Haa, Paro, Wamrong, etc.? Hundreds of trees have to be cut down to build one house. We still can do a lot and what OL has done is a simple example. Let us make our surroundings greener, fresher and cleaner. Let us stop cutting tree branches mercilessly for offering “sang”, especially in the city areas. The trees look like featherless birds.

  2. Dear OL, Can you please put the following news from businessbhutan on your blog for discussion. Thanks
    the league of extraordinary gentlemenPosted by Dawa T Wangchuk | 05 June 2010
    The retired dashos’ club is asking for vehicle quotas, duty free benefits, diplomatic passports and unique vehicle number plates
    To avoid the plight of being relegated into the dusty annals of once-upon-a-time-there-was-a-dasho tales, 40 retired red scarf officers, including three women, are grouping to voice their concerns.

    Dashos Business Bhutan talked to said with democracy in, the orange and blue colors are getting more prominence.

    “I was humiliated by a policeman while going to the dzong, who took me for a gomchen,” said a retired red scarf officer. Following tradition, a dasho who has retired from service does not wear his patang (sword). With just the red kabney, the policeman thought the former officer was a lay monk.

    The club comprises of former dzongdas, drangpons, and director generals, who once commanded immense power and glory.

    Known as the Retired Red Scarf (Nyekem) Officers Club, the group aims to help fellow dashos in times of need as well as to “serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum as and when called upon by His Majesty.”

    According to a former dzongda, nyekem is a lifelong privilege awarded from the Golden Throne. “This will revive the prestige of the red scarf,” he said, adding that the association has the blessing of His Majesty the King.

    The club has raised issues regarding privileges like vehicle quota, duty free benefits, diplomatic passport and unique vehicle number plate.

    “A vehicle number plate like that of the MPs will help us to travel with ease within the country,” said a former dzongda.

    However, the club is careful with their demands. “We do not want anything which has financial consequences to the government,” said another former dzongda.

    Unique number plates for vehicles and diplomatic passports do not financially burden the government, another one said.

    While visiting places where a red kabney is not required, it is good to have an identity card signifying the rank, a former director general said. “At places like the hospital, the security guards feel we are old useless people from the villages and treat us badly,” he added.

    There will be four regional coordinators who will look after the club activities in the east, west, central and south. “The executive committee and coordinators at the regional level will keep in touch with all retired officers in their region and help in times of sickness, death and other difficulties,” added a member.

    The club will also organize pilgrimages within and outside Bhutan. “And for this, it was felt necessary to have diplomatic passports,” said a member.

    Will the club wield any political influence?

    “Absolutely no,” a member said.

    The club is apolitical. Period.

    What is out country coming into? Eveyrone thinks they are entitled to be treated better than others. This retired dasho’s think that it is ok to discriminate. They said they don’t wanted to be treated like old poor villagers. Instead of asking for equal rights for everyone, they want to be treated special. Is this what our country has come to. Frankly I am ashamed to hear such things, especially from the people who were trusted by HM, to spew such garbage. In the land of GNH, everyone should be treated equally, no one should be demanding special treatment.
    What’s with people saying they served tsa wa sum, no you did not. You served your enourmour egos and greeds. You got paid money for what you did, so stop pretending like he world owes you something.
    Maybe these so called dashos should experience what the normal people go though and demand change for everyone, not just themselves.

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