April 2018 News

6 Yrs On, Leh's Green Movement Gains Pace

28 April 2018
The Tribune (Chandigarh)


Leh: The Durbuk block of Leh district has been organising mass plantation every year on World Earth Day (April 22) since 2013 with an aim to transform uncultivated and barren patches of land into green pastures. It is being done by people of eight villages. Durbuk is situated on the Indo-China border in the east of Ladakh and is one of the highest altitude areas in the region with less vegetation and forest. The annual event is organised jointly by eight village heads falling under the Ladakh Autonomous Hills Development Council (LAHDC). Stanzin Namgail, secretary, Go Green Go Organic, said, 'We have been planting trees, bushes and sea buckthorn berry. Over two lakh saplings have been planted in different areas of Durbuk in four years and 60 per cent of them have survived.' Go Green Go Organic is an initiative of Drikung head lama Skabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, who is the goodwill ambassador of UN Mountain Development. All eight villages are divided into eight phases, of which five have already completed plantation in every hamlet. The sixth phase was recently concluded on the occasion of World Earth Day and 5,000 saplings were planted at three hamlets - Yerat, Chilam and Philong. Tashi Namgail, Tangtse councillor, said thousands of saplings were planted every year at the community land of every village. Community mobilisation for mass plantation was initiated by Rinpoche through his Go Green Go Organic initiative. People are mobilised in such a way that every household participates in the event. Apart from labour contribution through their voluntary participation, 10 saplings per household are contributed to the plantation drive. Stanzin Namgail said to promote sustainable livelihood sources for Changthang, cultivation of potatoes was introduced in some villages of the block like Tangse, Shyok, Tharuk, Lukhung and Shachukul. Shyok village is being developed as a model village for the cultivation of sea buckthorn. Go Green Go Organic is also developing a sea buckthorn berry nursery at Shyok. Tashi Namgail, Tangtse councillor, said the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council was supporting the initiative. The first installment of funds to the tune of Rs 183 lakh for the development of sea buckthorn berry cultivation was released recently. * Under Go Green Go Organic, an initiative of Drikung head lama Skabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, eight villages, since 2013, have been holding mass plantation in the Durbuk block of Leh on World Earth Day * Thousands of saplings are planted every year at the community land of every village * Over two lakh saplings have been planted in different areas of Durbuk in four years and 60 per cent of them have survived

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