Nature and religion come together in Nepal
WWF-Nepal reached its target of planting 108,000 trees within 2011 as part of a key project to plant a million trees in Lumbini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounding areas over a period of 10 years.
Organized by WWF-Nepal and partner organization Lumbini Development Trust, the event brought together over 300 people from different sectors of society.
Speaking at the event, Mr Santosh Nepal, Director for Policy & Support at WWF-Nepal, said that Lumbini was regarded as the soul of the Terai Arc given the striking congruence between Buddhist philosophy and WWF’s conservation principles in the Terai Arc Landscape - interdependence and interconnectedness.
“The key objective of the Terai Arc Landscape program is to build connectivity across the landscape to facilitate wildlife movement while promoting harmony between humans, wildlife and nature”, said Mr Nepal.
A legacy for future generationsAcharya Karma Sangpo Sherpa, Vice Chairperson of Lumbini Development Trust, stated that Lumbini is an important carbon sink and the plan to plant a million trees in the sacred site is an attempt towards building greater adaptive capacity to the effects of climate change in Nepal. “I am happy to see a lot of children participating in this event; these trees are a legacy we leave for them and for future generations”, he said.
WWF-Nepal joined hands with Lumbini Development Trust in September 2010 as part of WWF’s global efforts to work with faith groups to further the cause of nature conservation. This partnership is aimed at promoting responsible tourism and environmental practices in the sacred site of Lumbini.
As part of the planting, trees which were considered to have existed in Lord Buddha’s era such as Ashoka, Sal, Pipal and Kadam will be planted in an effort to conserve the religious and ecological heritage of Lumbini.
Terai Arc LandscapeCovering 14 protected areas in India and Nepal, the Terai Arc Landscape is home to endangered tigers, elephants and vulnerable rhinos. It is one of the few places where these three large threatened animals coexist.
The plains of the Terai have seen an immense change during the past 50 years. Today, the area faces many challenges affecting people and wildlife alike including deforestation, poaching and pollution of rivers.
WWF-Nepal is part of the Terai Arc Landscape Project which has helped thousands of rural poor to improve their lives in sustainable ways and generated a tremendous support for conservation.