Friday, August 28, 2009
A proud moment as I pose with my sapling on Koh Trong - we became very close in such a short time :-)If you visit the island of Koh Trong, a few minutes by ferry from the Mekong River town of Kratie, you can make a small difference by joining a tree-planting scheme at one of the pagoda's on the island. It's an idea started about a decade ago by one of the island's inhabitants who wanted to reverse the trend of tree-felling that was happening all around him. It's got the full backing of the community, the locals play their part in the scheme, there's a caretaker for the area, which surrounds the pagoda at Wat Ty Param Kbal Koh Trong, and you can already see the fruits of earlier labours with large swathes of fledgling trees taking root. As part of the recent fam trip organised by the Mekong Discovery Trail team, each member of our group of 18 tour operators was given a small plot of soil, a sapling and a shovel. Fortunately the locals had done most of the spadework so our role was mostly symbolic though it was still hot and sweaty labour in the middle of the day, though enjoyable nonetheless. At the end of the exercise, each of us had planted a new tree - with a wooden stake bearing our name nearby - which will be monitored by the caretaker and where we can, if so inclined, return to check its progress in the future. A great idea to leave a small eco-friendly footprint from our visit.
A quick check of my sapling's roots to determine its survivability - I almost look as though I know what I'm doing