Taung Zalat or the rhododendron, the symbol of Chin State, and cherry blossom trees are becoming scarce in the state on account of visitors cutting down branches and plants every year, and therefore, there is a need to protect the trees, said Green Kennedy Group Chairman U Ngi Shing Khual, also known as U Hlaing Aung.
“Taung Zalat flowers and cherry blossoms bloom on the roadsides every December. Visitors have been plucking flowers and cutting down branches of the trees to take back home. The flowers and branches of the trees wither in arid areas. Taung Zalat and cherry blossoms make the Chin State look beautiful,” said U Ngi Shing Khual.
As part of eco tourism efforts in Chin State and to attract more tourists, the Green Kennedy Group, which was formed in 2012, has planted about 20,000 cherry and pine trees on two acres of land in Ar Lwe village.
On 12 December, the group launched a campaign to prevent visitors from plucking flowers and breaking off branches of Taung Zalat and cherry blossom trees in the villages near Tiddim-Kalay road and around the Kennedy mountain. The group made posters and stickers with messages, such as “Let’s preserve the nature of the state” and “Do not destroy the state’s natural beauty”, in the local dialect of Chin and Myanmar languages.
—Zo Hei Sa (Translated by Hay Mar)