India has enacted a revolutionary new green law which empowers citizens to adopt a tree as a child, brother or sister by filling up prescribed government forms to formalize the bond.
There are also provisions for legally taking up a tree and preserving it in remembrance of a departed relative. The new legislation in Sikkim – the picturesque Himalayan province in northeastern India bordering China – for forging familial relationships between trees and humans – which are recognized by the administration – has no parallels anywhere in the world.
The path-breaking Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules, 2017, which has just come into force, is the result of a persistent campaign by the Forests, Environment and Wildlife Management Department of the state government helmed by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.
Thomas Chandy, an Indian Forest Service officer who is Sikkim’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, told Al Arabiya that the …