The Importance of Tree Planting and its Protection

I have remarked on several occasions about the importance of tree planting both in India, our current home, and in Tibet as well. Today, as a symbolic gesture we are having a tree planting ceremony here in the settlement. Fortunately, the movement towards a deeper commitment to environmental protection through planting new trees and taking care of the existing ones, is rapidly increasing all over the world. At the global level, trees and forests are closely linked with weather patterns and also the maintenance of a crucial balance in nature. Hence, the 'task of environment protection is a universal responsibility of all of us. I think that is extremely important for the Tibetans living in the settlements to not only take a keen interest in the cause of environmental protection, but also to implement this ideal in action by planting new trees. In this way, we will be making an important gesture to the world in demonstrating our global concern and at the same time making our own little but significant, contribution to the cause.

If we look around, we can now see that those houses in the monasteries and in various camps where people have planted fruit trees, now enjoy great benefit as a consequence of their action. First of all, if there is a tree in your courtyard it creates around it an atmosphere of natural beauty and serenity. It is also obvious that you can eat the fruits from the tree, sit under it and enjoy the cool shade. What was required on your part was a little patience to allow some time for the tree to grow up.
Finally, I would like to make a suggestion regarding the use of your farmland in the settlement. In this settlement you have already initiated a project of planting fruit trees on farmlands. I think it is a very good plan. By planting fruit trees on your land we can not only ensure that the farmland remains productive, but also you will have fruits to eat. In short, I would like to again emphasize that it is extremely important to plant new trees and protect the ones already growing around you.  
Speech on December 6, J 990, at a special ceremony held in Doeguling Tibetan Settlement, Mundgod, South India. Adapted from Appropriate Technology for Tibetan's (ApTibet) Newsletter No.5, September 1991.


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