Sunday, November 21, 2021

Not All Forest Lands Are Tree Lands

Hi ………..,

Thank you for your mail. The pleasure is entirely mine.

I will leave it to the vast experience of PDG XXXXX and your own spirit of giving - to decide how the monies for our planned project are to be channeled.

I am in no doubt that this project will be impactful and, even better, the impact will be visible and will hopefully encourage even more committed actions from the authorities. They sometimes tend to be carried away by their own verbosity - rather than translating them into real actions on the ground.

You may have seen during your visits to Bhutan that the mountaintops surrounding the population centers such as Thimphu, Paro, Punakha and Wangdue - are shorn of mature trees. The reason is that the construction of massive Dzongs and temples in these places exact a heavy toll on the surrounding environment. Tens of thousands of trees are cut down for conversion into timber for the construction of these massive structures. Quarrying for stones for masonry work has scarred large tracts of hillside in these areas, rendering them infertile to bear or support trees, without the intervention of the human society that has been responsible in the first place to render them thus.

The Bhutanese people proudly claim that we have 70-80% forest coverage and that these naturally standing forest stock help sequester carbon dioxide by the millions of tons. What we misinterpret is that not all the claimed 70-80% forested land is populated with trees - but land that remain un-harvested. It is untrue that all un-harvested land are made up of trees - but steppe land and grassland and marsh land and alpine wilderness that do not contribute to carbon sequestration.

Alpine wilderness without trees

Thus, even to validate that Bhutan contributes to the well being of the human race through conservation of our forests - and helping in sequestration of the CO2 being released by the people in the industrialized nations, Bhutan needs to plant trees - even if only to make our claim good.

Sorry for the long winding mail - but I wanted to impress upon you just how profound your contribution will be to Bhutan and the human race, through this planned tree plantation project, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Thimphu.

Bye and take care…. and please keep safe.

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