Thinley Namgay

To beautify the sporting arenas under the Bhutan Olympic Committee, the Bhutan Ecological Society (BES) will hereon plant fruit trees.

Director of BES, Dr Nawang Norbu (PhD), and  Bhutan Olympic Committee’s (BOC) secretary-general Sonam Karma Tshering signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) coinciding with the Social Forestry Day yesterday in Thimphu.

The MoU was in line with the ‘fruits for all’ initiative by the BES to help nurture green public spaces in urban areas to bring functional and ecological value in addition to its aesthetics.

In a simple ceremony to mark the beginning of the partnership, BES planted 50 saplings of apple, pear, chestnut, persimmon, walnut, and plum, among others at the skate park in Bebena yesterday.

The saplings were bought from Bhutan Alpine Seeds in Paro.

Plantation at football fields and other open spaces managed by the BOC will take place in later this year.

BES official Pem Lama said that BOC was already trying to develop an active lifestyle for the children through sports. “BES feels that another important thing for the children is to be closer to nature.”

Pem Lama also said that numerous constructions were taking place in the country, but with negligible efforts to beautify the environment. “It is also essential to incorporate lots of green element.”

A press release from the BES stated that the fruits borne by these trees would be free for everyone to enjoy, and this would help bring urban dwellers to feel more connected to nature and the environment. “The fruit trees also have immense benefits for bird and insect diversity in urban areas.”

BES targets to plant fruit trees in all dzongkhags through this initiative mainly to shift mindsets and re-imagine human attitude towards the ecosystem. The upcoming plantation will take place in Paro on June 5.

Collaborating with local governments and schools, BES has planted 1,000 saplings in Thimphu, Wangduephodrang and Tsirang by procuring saplings from National Seed Centre and the private individuals since 2018.

In Thimphu, saplings were planted in partnership with the Thimphu Thromde at Sangaygang, ecological park, areas above Changangkha Lhakhang, and the centenary park in Changlimithang.

BES is a non-profit organisation that connects science, business, and policy with the goal of building sustainable and resilient communities.