On the Queen’s birthday villages from Baan Tiam in northern Thailand assembled to plant trees to honour Her Majesty. After a short, but rather formal, opening ceremony the villagers were despatched to a selected area of forest to start planting. Some worked diligently; others gathered bamboo shoots; and some found excuses to leave early. But by the end of the day the nation’s forests were 1000 seedlings richer!
That evening some of the villagers assembled at the district office where they recited an solemn oath of forest protection: “I will work to protect the natural resources of the nation to the best of my ability; I will work together with all parties to be the stength of the nation to prevent timber cutting, forest destruction and the sale of illegal timber; If I violate this oath please bring me unhappiness and misfortune; If I adhere to this oath please bring health and prosperity to myself and my family.” Wow! If that doesn’t protect the forests then nothing will!