Thimphu: The Guinness World Records based in London, UK, yesterday officially awarded certificate to Bhutan for beating the Guinness world record by planting 49,672 trees in an hour over 25 acres of land on June 2 last year.
About 133 certificates were awarded to the government, agriculture and forest ministry, 100 volunteers who planted the saplings, stewards, forestry officials, sponsors of the event and two media partners by Her Majesty Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck in a ceremony held at the Terma Linca Resort.
Awarding the certificates Her Majesty said it was a befitting occasion to achieve this milestone to honour His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, the Champion of the Earth on his 41st Coronation Day during His Majesty’s 60th year celebrations.
“When the anniversary of that special day (41st Coronation anniversary) comes, in four months time, it should be our collective wish and duty to ensure that most of those trees are thriving and not lost to neglect and forest fires,” Her Majesty Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck told the volunteers who planted an average of eight trees a minute to beat the record.
The volunteers, comprising desuups, civil servants, students, and corporate and private employees, planted five indigenous species of trees at Kuenselphodrang.
“This morning, it is my happiness to give you the Guinness World Record Certificate which you have worked with deep sincerity and allegiance to receive,” Her Majesty said.
People’s initiative in Celebrating the Sixtieth Anniversary (PICSA) was formed under Her Majesty Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck as the royal patron to supplement the government’s initiatives for the 60th birth anniversary celebrations of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
“We have our first Guinness World Record and by His Majesty The King Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s 61st birth anniversary, we will have a second in the form of the largest and the most beautiful book in the world,” Her Majesty announced. “This book is being made in Bhutan by Bhutanese artisans with Bhutanese raw materials.”
Her Majesty also expressed her deep gratitude to Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Finance Minister Namgay Dorji, Agriculture Minister Yeshey Dorji, and officials and staff of agriculture ministry for their whole-hearted enthusiasm and support. She also thanked the victorious planters for the historical landmark.
Her Majesty said, “The Fire Male Monkey Year has been the best and the most auspicious beginning with the arrival of The Gyalsey, truly a precious gift to our nation. May he be blessed with all the great qualities of his father and of his grandfather, may our guardian deities keep a constant watch over him to realize his destiny of unparalleled service.”
Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said the saplings are growing and thriving. He said they will continue to take care of the saplings now and then. “My staff are fully involved and all inputs such as manure, water, weeding and care are being provided,” he said. “I am confident that the seedlings we had planted will grow into happy and healthy trees in a few years.” The minister urged all to visit the area and make their simple contribution by watering, manuring and weeding. “It belongs to us all.”
The minister also announced that another record will be attempted this year to commemorate the birth of The Gyalsey. “100 Bhutanese women will plant 50,000 trees in one hour in Kurtoe Lhuentse,” he announced.
The PICSA coordinator Karma Tshering said that Bhutan paid a registration fee of 5,500 Great Britain Pound to the Guinness World Record to attempt the record. “It was not easy to get registration and it took more than five months to accept our registration,” he said.
In his appreciation note to the participants, Guinness World Records president Alistair Richards said that of the thousands of applications they receive every month, less than five percent actually make it to become an official entry in their archive.
In 2012, Assam, India planted 40,885 trees by 100 men (army) in one hour.
Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, prime minister, cabinet ministers, and senior government officials attended the certificate award ceremony.