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Sikkim plants six lakh saplings in ten minutes
GANGTOK, JUL 15:
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Published on 16 Jul. 2009 1:08 AM IST
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Sikkim on Wednesday inked a new chapter in the environmental conservation by planting around six lakh saplings throughout the hill state in ten minutes as the clock ticked 1030 hours. Thousands of people of Sikkim proudly lifted the seedlings for plantation in their endeavour to protect Mother Earth. The people stopped all their other activities to pledge themselves to nature under ‘Ten Minutes to Greenery’ programme of the state government which started precisely at 1030 hours. Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling led the campaign by planting saplings at Himalayan Zoological Park and Tashi Namgyal Academy premises here at Gangtok respectively. The state forest department, which is the nodal agency for this novel campaign, said the ten minute activity would be able to sequester 1400 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. This is Sikkim’s own unique way of fighting the global threat of climate change and Sikkim would have additional trees totalling the population of the state, the Governor said, adding the campaign could also be Sikkim’s own way of making ‘Earth Hour’. The state forest department said the programme had been conceived by the Chief Minister, who had emphasised on important native species like oak, rhododendron, magnolia and native wild fruits to have a well balanced forest ecosystem. The people of Sikkim, communities, industries, government officials, civil society organisations, school students and religious institutions, Army and the Border Roads Organisation personnel participated on a massive scale giving it the magnitude of a ‘people’s movement’. The plantation was done in every nook and corner of Sikkim where seedlings were arranged by the Forest Department at every gram panchayat, block, constituency and district levels. ‘’It was totally a people’s programme and the Forest Department acted as just a facilitator. The event was unprecedented and one of its own kind. The objective was not only to make tree planting a Sikkimese way of life but also to send the message to the world at large that we care for nature,’’ forest secretary ST Lachungpa said.

 
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