Sikkim Government’s decision to allow locals to adopt a tree has taken environment protection one step forward. In a bid to save trees, the government has launched a scheme under which, a person can build human-tree relationship. This can be done in three ways –
BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH NATURE TO SAVE TREES
- By constructing brotherhood or sisterhood relationship with a tree. This practice is known as a ‘Mitini’ or ‘Mith/Mit’ relationship. When a woman forges a relationship with tree by considering it as her brother, it is known as a ‘Mitini’ relationship. In a similar fashion, when a man forges a relationship with a tree, considering it as his sister, it is known as a ‘Mith/Mit’ relationship.
- By adopting and taking care of a tree as one’s own child. The tree will, therefore, be known as an ‘adopted tree’
- By guarding a tree in remembrance of a deceased loved one. The tree will, therefore, be known as a ‘smriti tree’.
Furthermore, an interested person will have to complete the necessary formalities and apply to the Assistant Conservator of Forests. Moreover, any violation or damage to the tree will be dealt with severe consequences.
SELECTION OF TREE
- A person can affiliate with a tree on his or her private land.
- A person can associate with a tree on someone else’s land. For this, he/she will have to sign an agreement with the owner of the land. Moreover, the person will have to compensate the owner in terms of the monetary value of the timber or wood of the tree.
- A person can affiliate with a tree on public land by seeking permission from the concerned department or agency
Moreover, Thomas Chandy, Principal Secretary and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said “Soon after the notification the State went for panchayat polls. We will take up the issue in a major way at the upcoming Paryavaran Mahotsav organised by the Sikkim government.”
Sikkim has been blessed with a bounty of flora and fauna. The decision to encourage individual participation in environmental protection by establishing humanised relationship with nature is, therefore, a breath of fresh air.