Onset of June in Bhutan is special, looking from the natural perspective. Summer is already here and everything around is lush, green and clean. The spring blossoms further enthralls the natural beauty. Coinciding with the coronation anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, we celebrate June second as Social Forestry Day. Every year thousands of trees are planted throughout the country by the students, public servants, foresters, monks, and general public. My experience of planting trees was since my primary school days and through the ages, I have planted many trees in the schools where I have studied. Curiosity rises in me whether the saplings I planted would be now giving shades to the younger generations. Celebrating Social Forestry Day on 2nd June is special considering His Majesty's legacy in environmental conservation, which were recognized worldwide when prestigious awards like World Wildlife Fund J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership and Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame were conferred to His Majesty.
|Serenity of our Environment as Seen from Black Mountains.|
And we have 4th June, which is the birthday of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, Jestun Pema Wangchuck. Gyaltsuen is the Royal Patron of Environment and as a gesture of our loyalty to her Majesty Bhutan celebrates the day as Environment day, where people come out to do plantations, clean the environment and raise awareness on the need for maintaining healthy environment. We have inherited a pristine environment from our forefathers and it remains our duty to pass it on to the younger generation in same state.
June 5th is the World Environment Day which is celebrated worldwide since 1972 and this in one special day in a year where global citizens come out with the same cause and concern for the environment. A day on which every people do something positive towards environment; be it cleaning a public place or a neighborhood, planting trees, creating awareness and advocacy on environmental conservation, and combating wildlife crime. In Bhutan we are lucky to have three major events one after another and this is real good fortune for us, who live is close harmony with nature.
However, we should be get reminded throughout the year of what we did on these special days. We need to look back to the saplings which we have planted to make sure than it turns into an elegant tree. We should be mindful of the areas we ave cleaned and try to maintain the cleanliness throughout. We should constantly remember what conservation messages we have heard on this day and should instill in us a sense of responsibility. While there is no dearth of inspiration for lucky us with farsighted leaderships, often we fail to put in little efforts from our part to make bigger difference.
This years World Wnvrionment Theme is "Connecting people to nature" and it reminds us how we should take outdoor activities to value how nature nurtures our existence. A crisp invigorating air was what we first encountered when we came to this world. It was that gift of Mother Nature that we are now able to grow, learn, contemplate, innovate and keep moving. However often we disconnect ourselves from nature and don't realize that it's the clean Oxygen that nature have released which keeps us breathing, without which our life will have a fatal end. And of course many things follows; the clean drinking water, serene working environment, the ecological services for livelihood, and the numerous resources for our economy. Everything that we use comes from nature at the first place. But do we realize this connection so often?
Our resource are depleting, habitats are destroyed, wildlife are poached all in pursuit of monetary greed. Are we being little ethical with nature? Our litters have become the most invasive object reaching the highest peak of mountains, in core of virgin forests, in the dept of mighty oceans. Every year we are reminded of the value of environment but each subsequent year, we straggle with lost empathy for Mother Nature. Today let's try to reconnect ourselves with nature; take a long breathe of fresh air that Mother Nature has bestowed, close the eyes and listen to the whistles of the winds, it would be calling our care for the nature, open the eyes and look into the nature, a lush green grasses and forests, with chirping birds, the snow clad mountains, the crisp flow of rivers. Let's feel the lyrical essence of nature and feel the connection today, so that nature don't betray us tomorrow.