Promote Tree Plantation


As the season of monsoon begins, government and non-government offices, local, social and political organisations have started tree plantation campaign. But they are apparently engaged in publicity stunt before planting the saplings. Environment activists, mayors and even ministers are seen holding saplings in their hands before cameras with big smiles on their faces. Then they rush to post their photos in the social media so that other people know their works. However, this is outdated trend of tree plantation which was practiced by the past rulers such as royalties and Panchas.

There have been mega tree plantation drive in different parts of country and their efficacy should be examined. The Division Forest Office in Banke alone is going to plant three hundred thousand saplings this year. Similarly, Rurukshetra Rural Municipality in Gulmi district, which contains only 67.38 square kilometres of land, is planting 380 saplings of banyan and peepal this year. As per tradition, banyan and peepal trees are planted at the point where two or more roads meet. They can also be planted on the premises of temples.

But, the Municipality may not have many road crossing points. That is why its officials are planting banyan and peepal saplings elsewhere. From the Hindu and Buddhist religious point of view, planting banyan-peepal is a sacred work, but planting too many banyan and peepal saplings may not be pragmatic.

Following on the footsteps of Rurukshetra Rural Municipality, other municipalities and individuals are also planting the same types of saplings on empty lands. Plantation demands demarcations, proper protection measures and irrigation facility so that the unruly people and stray animals cannot destroy the planted saplings. Because of these lapses, we do the same work again and again. 

Gulmi and Argakhanchi are facing monkey menace.  Monkeys, parrots, porcupines and wild-boars destroy maze, wheat and paddy crops of those areas every year. If the local governments plant fruit-bearing saplings of persimmons, mango, papaya, banana and others, they, in the long run, attract the wild animals and birds, thereby protecting the crops. If one of the municipalities plant fruit saplings, it will be followed by local levels of the country as well.  The local authorities need to be rational when it comes to launching big tree plantation drive. 

At a time when the world is plagued by the climate change-induced global warming, the importance of tree plantation has increased. Erratic pattern of weather, heavy downpours, droughts, high temperature, heatwaves and snow-melting are some untoward cases that impel the governments across the world to go for green policy essential for clean air, sunlight, soil and water.

Nepal has pioneered in expanding the forest cover but this seems to be insufficient given the negative consequences of climate change. Tree plantation is one viable way to minimise the impact of global warming. The government agencies, private organisations and volunteers' groups must give attention to sustain the planted saplings. Mere plantation is not is not enough. When samplings grow and become mature, only can they help keep environment healthy and fresh. 

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