The happy country which planted 49,672 trees in one hour last year recently doubled that to celebrate the birth of a new prince.
Bhutan may be known as one of the happiest countries in the world, but did you know that it is also one of the greenest?
Last year, 100 Bhutanese volunteers set a Guinness World Record by planting 49,672 trees in just an hour. And just recently, the entire nation joined together to plant 108,000 trees to celebrate the birth of a new prince.
The Diplomat reports that on February 5th, Bhutan’s King Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema announced the birth of their first child. To honor the prince, a tree plantation ceremony was planned to take place exactly one month later.
In Buddhism, trees are considered to be the provider of life. Therefore, each sapling represents a prayer from the person planting it that the prince grows up to be healthy, strong, and wise like the tree.
All 82,000 households in the nation planted a tree while another 26,000 were planted by volunteers around the country.
Planting trees with thousands of volunteers to celebrate the birth of HRH, our Gyalsey. Well done Tendrel Initiative pic.twitter.com/i0hxFF9EHa
— Tshering Tobgay (@tsheringtobgay) March 6, 2016
— Tourism Bhutan (@tourismbhutan) March 6, 2016
Said Tenzin Lekphell, who coordinated the initiative:
“In Buddhism, a tree is the provider and nourisher of all life forms, symbolizing longevity, health, beauty and even compassion. The number of 108,000 was selected because 108 is a sacred number in Buddhism.
Each sapling encapsulates a prayer and a wish from the person who planted it to His Royal Highness the Prince so that just like the bountiful tree, the Prince also grows up healthy, strong, wise and compassionate.”
Though the country has a few human rights ghosts in its closet, it is, at least, making remarkable progress in transitioning to be one of the more enlightened places on Earth.
In terms of sustainability, the country’s laws dictate that 60% of the total area will always be under forest cover; at present, it has around 75% forest cover. It also has ambitious aims for the future: Bhutan has pledged to become the first 100 percent organic nation on Earth and the people officially embrace electric vehicles. That’s incredible, considering the populace has only had television and Internet since 1999.
The leaders are also invested in ensuring peoples’ happiness. Reportedly, the country follows a policy of Gross National Happiness, which measures the quality of life of its citizens. Its focus is on balancing economic growth with protecting its environment.
Because the Bhutanese people have been ruled by a democratic monarchy since 1979, they feel very devoted to the royal couple. More countries would do well to follow the tiny country’s example in how it respects its citizens and the planet.
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