Bhutanese people made a statement of their love of nature earlier this week by setting the Guinness World Records title for Most trees planted in one hour in the country's capital Thimphu.
Coinciding with Social Forestry Day on June 2, a team of 100 volunteers got their hands deep in the ground to plant a total of 49,672 trees in just 60 minutes, smashing the previous record by nearly 10,000.
The environmentally-friendly feat was organised by Bhutan Eco-Green Initiative Network (BEGIN), which promotes green initiative in Bhutan, in collaboration with its Ministry of Agriculture & Forests. A number of indigenous tree species were planted including the Blue Pine and Cypress.
This is the first time Bhutan has attempted a Guinness World Records title and, at first, it seemed like an unthinkable achievement for this tiny Himalayan Bhuddhist kingdom which nestles between China and India. However, planters from all over the country gathered in the capital to commemorate the 60th birthday of Bhutan’s head of state, King Druk Gyalpo for the attempt and in turn earn the nation it's first official world record.
Environment conservation is a top priority for a small country like Bhutan. Nature is one of the pillars and key indicators of the country’s famed Gross National Happiness (GNH) index, a unique developmental philosophy initiated by the Fourth King of Bhutan.
Perhaps not surprisingly then, more than 75% of the mountainous country’s land is currently under forest cover and the constitution of Bhutan states that a minimum of 60% of the land shall be covered under forest for all times to come.
Speaking after the attempt, tree planting event organiser Mr. Karma Tshering said: "The whole country is happy. Our world record shows that Bhutan's young generation wants a clean and green future. We will never compromise on that."
Many celebrated national pride on social media platforms, an unprecedented reaction to an event in this Bhuddist nation of just over 700,000 people. Buthan has tried to protect itself from the influence of the outside world, only permitting internet and television over a decade ago.
Guinness World Record Certificate presented to Bhutan for new world record with 100 men planting 49,672 trees in 1 hr pic.twitter.com/BXIQIpdYHm— Tenzing Lamsang (@TenzingLamsang) June 2, 2015
The Guinness World Records title for Most trees planted in one hour by a team has seen plenty of inspiring initiatives for environmental conservation over the years with past records having been set in countries across the globe such as India, UK, Australia, China, Mexico and Ireland.