Tree plantation campaign ineffective
Jul 13, 2014-
If one were to observe the huge crowd of people gathered at the District Forest Office (DFO) to collect the seeds and tree saplings distributed for tree plantation, one would easily surmise that our forests should have been lush green long ago. However, due to lack of regular supervision by the concerned authorities, only half among the thousands of tree seeds and saplings distributed free of cost for plantation survive and grow into a tree. The tendency among the locals and concerned authorities not giving two hoots about giving the kind of care to ensure proper growth of the trees planted by them has but laid waste to thousands of seeds and saplings. Hence, the encouraging sight of people reaching the DFO for tree plantation has so far proven to be nothing but a gimmick.
From what was seen at the DFO premises on Sunday, people coming from all parts of the district tried to get their hands on the seeds and saplings as if they were very anxious to plant them at that very moment. However, in reality the ones scrambling to get their hands on the saplings were just ordinary folks doing it to satisfy their sense of responsibility towards nature and its conservation. However, the same cannot be said for all of them, as some are genuine individuals and community forest users who would ensure that the seeds and saplings get proper care and grow into a tree.
Although various community forests, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve including the DFO have been distributing the seeds in various parts of the district, the outcome, however, has not been as expected.
“We have been distributing the seeds and saplings of various trees worth thousands since the past week. However, the number of new seeds actually growing into a tree is found to be very low,” said assistant forest officer, Prami Lal Prasad Sah.
“While half of the seeds and saplings planted die owing to the lack of proper care, there are also those who do not plant the seeds they get from DFO but instead sell them,” said Mohan Singh Dhami, a local of Haldukhal. Dhami has been working actively planting and providing necessary care for the seeds and saplings since the past four years. This year alone, seeds and saplings in excess of 600,000 have been distributed by various organisations, including Tarai Arc Lanscape (TAL), President Chure Conservation, National Forest Development and Management, and Community Forest Development Programme.
“We have been distributing a maximum of 20 seeds and sapling to an individual and 150-200 of them to various organisations. However, barely half of those survive to grow into a tree,” Sah said, adding that they had found some individuals selling the seeds and saplings in villages.
Meanwhile, admitting to the negligence, DFO Chief Pashupati Nath Koirala said that they had come up with a strategy to monitor the condition of the seeds and saplings by reaching the houses of those coming to take the seeds. “We have even made it mandatory for individuals to bring their land ownership certificate and a photocopy of the citizenship certificate to receive the seeds and saplings meant for plantation,” Sah said.
Published: 14-07-2014 10:07