Visiting Bhutan’s Seed Bank

Bhutan's Seed Bank is the original Noah's Ark. Bhutan has preserved some 60 percent of its total land mass as conservation zonIMG_3722

Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is a land of monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic topography ranging from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are a destination for serious trekkers. Taktsang Palphug (Tiger’s Nest) monastery, a sacred site, clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.

Dasho Ugyen Tshering is the Secretary General of the National Environment Commission. He is the man in charge of protecting Bhutan’s environment and the pioneer behind Bhutan’s seed and DNA bank. Yes, this is the original Noah’s Ark. Bhutan has preserved some 60 percent of its total land mass as conservation zone. It has some of the most delicate and complex biodiversity on our planet spanning from low jungle to high glacier altitudes. It also possesses some of the most unique species of plants and wildlife. In order to preserve this in its integrity for future generations, Dasho Uguyen Tshering founded this seed bank.

Across the country people are contributing seed and species reporting anything that seems to be disappearing. The Bhutan seed and DNA bank has established a program online where people can report and submit on species. The collection is intended to preserve these species for future generation. If one day with have global catastrophe something like portrayed in the Hollywood movie “the day after tomorrow” we may all turn to Bhutan to revive the species. Thanks Ugyen Tshering’s Bhutan seed bank starring as “Noah’s Ark.”   Africa could learn this from Bhutan and implement the same strategy by starting saving, preserving and protecting not only seeds but also its animals, culture and all the good values which are now  being replaced by modern/western life style.

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