Nepalese Forest Minister declares Swayambhu Forest a sacred forest
4 June 2010
At a special ceremony, the Nepalese Forest Minister, Mr. Dipak Bohara, handed protection of the Swayambhu Forest to the Federation of Swayambhu Management and Conservation (FSMC) and declared it a sacred forest.
FSMC established Swayambhu Environmental Park as one of the World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu valley in 1993. FSMC is the body of 26 sister organisations working in this World Heritage Site for cultural and religious restoration and its aesthetic value. One of these sister organisations is the Centre for Nepal Environmental and Educational Development (CENEED). CENEED is doing its best to conserve the indigenous plants of Nepal and proliferating native plants for greenery.
The declaration was made public at a special ceremony with many notable dignatories present. The program was attended by all the local people, government officials and academics as well as representatives from NGOs. Religious counsel (Mantra) was chanted by Tibetan monks.
The program was held in the Swayambhu Environmental Park where Minister Mr. Bohora planted Aesculus indica, an important plant for oil yielding in far west Nepal. FSMC and CENEED have started planting trees in the forest area and various programs have been implemented to safeguard the forested area.
A protected species Podocarpus neriifolia, which is also listed in the CITES Appendix II in Nepal, was planted by the PhD awarded members of Tribhuvan University in another function in April, 2010. Dr Shibata Syozo of Kyoto University paid a short visit to the garden and wished to support the program of CENEED in Nepal.
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