Wanna get our awesome news?
We will send you weekly news & updates. Isn't that cool?

Actually we will not spam you and keep your personal data secure

Wanna get our awesome news?
We will send you emails only several times per week. Isn't that cool?

Actually we will not spam you and keep your personal data secure

Mon, 25 Mar 2019

Northeast Today

Building Relationship with Trees

Building Relationship with Trees
March 19
16:11 2018

February Edition, NET Bureau

Sikkim is considered as one of the cleanest and greenest states of India. And taking a step further in making the state greener and cleaner, the state has taken step a forward in preserving its greenery the state has allowed its population to adopt trees just like as their child or sibling. This will not only create environmental awareness but also will forge amity between people and trees of the state. Sayantani Deb finds out more

A Different Feeling

How it will sound, if you are told that you can now adopt a child or sibling that doesn’t bully or nag you and at the same time by doing this you are can contribute a lot towards making environment clean. The idea may sound vague but if it could be done in a sincere way, then this will definitely have a positive impact on our environment. In an endeavour to protect both the environment and strengthen the bond between man and fauna, Sikkim government under the leadership of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has recently launched a programme that allows a citizen to adopt a tree as a child or sibling in the remembrance of a departed soul.

New Rule

On January 2018, the Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management Department, Government of Sikkim, passed a notification titled— Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules 2017, which stated that the “State government shall allow any person to associate with trees standing on his or her private land or on any public land by entering into a Mith/Mit or Mitini relationship.”

As per the information, the forest department has allowed people to form three types of bond with trees. An individual can enter a Mith/ Mit or Mitini relationship with a tree, which literally means taking a sibling. However, a person can also adopt a tree like his or her own child; in such case the tree shall be called an adopted tree. The third way of forging a relationship with the tree is by preserving it in remembrance of a departed relative in which case the tree shall be called a ‘smriti tree’.

According to Forest department officials, the motto behind coming up with this unique way of preserving trees is to encourage people to forge a relationship of child, brotherhood or sisterhood with trees through a local tradition which is locally known as Mith/Mit or Mitini. People can also remember their loved ones, by dedicating a tree.

The notification also mentions that if an individual wants to forge a relationship with a tree which does not stand on his or her land but another’s, the person concerned shall execute an agreement with the owner and compensate him or her in terms of the market value of the timber or the wood contained in the tree.

Formalising Format

In a bid formalise the relationship with trees, one will have to submit forms and appropriate documentation to forest authorities. Depending on the type of relationship one like to forge, the government has a special form. The form is available on the government website and which requires one to detail the reasons why he or she wishes to adopt a tree.

The tree will be registered under the individual’s name after due verification and scrutiny. The registered trees may be part of the person’s property or belong to someone else. In case of the tree growing in a public space, permissions will have to be sought from the concerned government department. Any damage to a registered Mith, adopted or Smriti tree will be treated as a forest offense.

Green Warriors Speak

Speaking about the move, Omi Gurung, who is popularly known Green Man of Sikkim said, “It is a wonderful way to connect with nature. We the people of Himalayas, mainly North-eastern states are known for worshipping and celebrating nature.”

He further added that in Nepalese tradition, people in the olden days used to forge a relationship of brotherhood or sisterhood with each other through a practice locally known as Mith/ Mit or Mitini. It helped to maintain respect and peace within the society.

“Adopting a tree is not about planting a sapling but nurturing it to life,” he stated, adding, “It is a gradual process of growth and an emotional journey too. This is a sterling step taken by a Government of Sikkim to conserve tradition and greenery in the state.”

Echoing, Omi Priyadarshini Shresta, project co-coordinator WWF, told Northeast Today, “Definitely it is a noble initiative by the state government for making people more nature friendly. Once we adopt a tree then automatically we will get a deeper connect with nature as well.”


Related Articles