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Green shade for students benefit of monk-led planting programme

A senior monk who has witnessed the enormous value of trees believes developing green shade for schools and temples is essential, benefiting people’s lives and the planet. 

Phra Achaan Daosadeth receives donation of saplings from local residents.

Phra Achaan Daosadeth Leuthmany, Abbot of Mai Xokkham temple in Xaysettha district, Vientiane spoke to Vientiane Times on Friday following the occasion of National Abor Day.
The tree planting project has attracted strong interest and support from the public.
Phra Achaan Daosadeth understands that to be comfortable, temple and school grounds must have enough shade to prevent the effects of heat and harsh sunshine.
He is keen to create more green space in the manner of a jungle temple by encouraging monks and villagers to plant various species of trees there.
The plants come from the investment of the temple itself as well as donations by devotees. 
He also led this activity last year.
Despite success in developing green areas around the temple the senior monk has not limited his thinking.
He is thinking of the best way to create awareness on environmental protections and how to bring benefits of trees to students in schools.
This is pressing with more days of hot weather exceeding 30 degrees Celsius, particularly in April which is the hottest month in Laos.
He plans to supply trees and funding for schools involved in the project to take care of the environment.
Phra Achaan Daosadeth has sought to carry out his new project with schools in districts in Vientiane, especially Xaysettha district. 
The cooperation between the temple and schools will be conducted under an agreement to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the operation. 
Now, the temple has already supplied some saplings to three schools in Xaysettha district such as Sengsavang, Khamngoy and Xokkham.
Contracts have not been signed yet due to processes.
Abbot Daosadeth said the temple expected to provide saplings and maintain funding of 10,000 kip per tree per year.
The fund will be given to schools on June 1, the occasion of the national day for tree plantations.
To ensure the success of green schools, representatives of both sides will work together to regularly inspect the planted trees.
Any dead saplings will be replaced with others supplied by the temple.
Schools need to arrange a suitable area for the planting.
The proposed area should not be a place expected to host building facilities in the future.
If trees are planted in such area, investments will be ineffective and inefficient.
If schools cut down trees in excess of more than 50 percent of all numbers of plants, the temple project manager will cut all assistances.  
After five years, the temple will transfer all responsibilities to schools to manage.
Everybody is welcomed to give donations and support this project at the temple.
If any company or generous person who recognises the great value of trees and environmental protections has some desire to make a charity donation for tree plantation and maintenance at a school through the temple’s project they can come and discuss with monks.
The temple will be the coordinator with schools that generous donors yet to carry out this project.
At the same time, the project manager will make a sign of the supporter of that school.
Then, each year the company or donors provide the maintenance cost to the school.
Abbot Daosadeth said that some generous people may not want to give their donations to temples for building facilities within temples because they are already developed.
But, they could be interested to contribute to the temple’s environmental protections which are other options for them.      
Last Saturday, the temple held a donation activity by mobilising trees from people. The donation requires about 1,000 trees to supply 50 primary and secondary schools in Vientiane.
One sapling per one person will help provide better shade for children at schools.
With big trees acting as a giant umbrella, teachers can more easily organise open air activities outside of the classroom.
At the same time, students will be able to escape a harsh sun when they play fun games at the school.     
Achieving the green environment is one of the so-called six sors.
These mottos and slogans to develop Laos are from the Vientiane mayor.
These are handy guides especially the sor about keeping the capital city green.
The temple’s tree planting project is translating this slogan into practice.
Another main purposes is to raise awareness on environmental issues to students beginning from primary school.
They seek to create facilitation for learning and teaching conditions of students and help save our planet from global climate change which is a serious issue for governments to find effective solutions.  



by Manichanh Pansivongxay
(Latest Update
June 7,2017 )

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