Forest and Tree Conservation through “ONE DAY ONE TREE” by Hauser Exkursionen & Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation Germany, The Partners Nepal, Sagarmatha Buffer Zone Users Group (Khumjung-7) is a great initiative to protect the denuded areas of sacred lands.

Late Lama Geshey

Pangboche, Oct 2016

Late Lama Geshey

The initial concept of One Day, One Tree was established by the member of The Partners Nepal (TPN) and supported back in 2012 by Hauser Exkusionen & Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation, Germany through Himalayan Trust Nepal. The lama and all the residents were impressed with this unique concept that will help to restore and protect the mountain environment and ecosystems with numerous visitors who visit this region. The whole concept of “ONE DAY ONE TREE” shows how science and religion can work together for the benefit of the environment and the preservation of cultural and spiritual values. Within Khumbu, there are numerous sacred sites visited by tourists. Among them is the Pangboche Monastery the oldest monastery in the region and this monastery are centre of Sherpa religious practice and are visited by thousands of tourists each year. In Khumbu, such a program would fit well with Sherpa cultural and spiritual values and contribute to long-term sustainable tourism in the region.



The alpine ecosystems surrounding the sacred lands above 4000m in Sagarmatha National Park are important resources for local people as they collect shrubs for fuel wood use, grazing, water storage, collection of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), ecotourism trade (trekking and mountaineering). However, the alpine ecosystems in the Khumbu and elsewhere in the mountain world have been comparatively neglected by the international conservation community despite the fact that they have long been recognized for their fragility and lack of resiliency. The environment especially in the mountain region has been faced with various challenges, many of them due to human created factors unregulated tourism, overgrazing, the over harvesting of alpine shrubs for fuel wood, and poor conservation practice, global warming and the climate change. Deforestation is taken place rapidly over the few years despite the fact they have long been recognized for their fragility and lack of resiliency. The local people are well aware that the area is facing global warming and has become a big challenge from every corners of the world including the sacred lands of Khumbu region. People are aware of the impact of climate change and planting trees is the only long-term solutions to overcome from those impacts from climate change and the global warming.


Pangboche nursery (1)Nursery establishment was the first step for fulfilling the local demands of forest resources seedlings and saplings. Those seedlings can be germinated on a large scale in the nursery. Moreover, the easy accessibility of the seedlings/saplings acts as motivating factor for the villagers to carry out plantation work and hastens the afforestation process. The nursery also meets the objective of producing their mortality rate in the plantations. The Sagarmatha National Park has generously allocated a 12 x 14 feet long land to establish Nursery in Pangboche en-route to Everest Trekking Trails. In order to begin nursery establishment in Pangboche, The Partners Nepal with special recommendation from Buffer Zone Users Group recruited Min Bahadur Rai as nursery Nike who has great experience in reforestation work above 3000m. The Partners Nepal provides the financial and technical support to establish this nursery.


Pangboche nursery (2)One green house (size: 3m x 6m) was constructed in Pangboche where the nursery been set a side by Sagarmatha National Park. The purpose of the greeen house construction was for faster growth and germination of Juniper seeds and seedlings as it helps to maintain the appropriate temperature for seed germination, supports fast growth of seedlings and protect the fragile shoots during snowfall. The materials of green house were purchased in Kathmandu and shipped to the nearest road-head i.e., Phaplu and cargo by helicopter to Shyangboche and then to Pangboche by porters. The frame of the greenhouse was made of GI (Galbonized Iron) pipe and covered by durable white plastic sheets. All the materials of the green house is manufactured in Kathmandu and transported to Khumbu region.


In order to establish quality and productive nursery, it was important to collect the best seeds from near by the forest that is the native trees found in the area. We have chosen the four best species of seeds for this ONE DAY ONE TREE purpose. The four species were: Juniper, Fir, Rhododendron and birch species found in the near by forest. Choosing the most appropriate time for sowing seed is an essential task in nursery work. Mostly the best season for seed sowing is during warm and dry weather. Warmer weather is preferred as germination is quicker than other seasons. In Nepal, the most appropriate time for seed sowing for most species is during March to May just before the monsoon begins. Generally, in the case of alpine species, a suitable time for seed sowing is just before the snow starts. Depending on the seed species, the juniper and birch seeds were sown in May inside the green house in order to avoid the frost. Seeds of Juniper started to germinate within three to four months inside the green house and birch started to germinate after 15-20 days respectively.


In order to establish quality and productive nursery, the nursery in-charge Min Bahadur Rai has collected seeds from near by forest such as Juniper, Fir, Rhododendron and birch species four of the native trees in the area. For the nursery bed preparation, the best time to fertilize is in April or early May once plants are dormant. The best source of fertilizer for this purpose is the mycorrhiza as it play important roles in plant nutrition that will eventually germinate better. A mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association between a fungus and a plant.


Direct sowing of seed in the seedbed is the easiest and most common technique suitable for both large and small seeds. It is also advantageous in small areas where seed can be concentrated within a specific area for germination. For the larger sized seeds, seeds can be sown by pressing them into the soil. But in case of smaller sized seeds, they must broadcast over the beds and covered by sand, then pressed by a wooden board. Mulch then needs to be applied for shading and to maintain the moisture needed during the germination period. When seeds start to emerge, mulching or shading must be taken out and the bed gently irrigated, Emerging seedlings should not be shaded, and the site should be well drained.


Pangboche nursery (10)The germination of seed in poly pots is usually useful for larger sized seed, which tend to have a high germination percentage.

In Pangboche, even though two or three birch seeds were sown per pot, often only one seed would germinate. If there were more than one seedling in one pot, the extra seedling was picked out and planted into another pot. Picking out the seedlings was done only in the evening or on a cloudy day to reduce the effects of drying out of roots, and planted immediately into another pot.


In order to protect the seedlings at the reforestation sites, cattle proof enclosures of various sizes had been constructed in two sites in Pangboche and one site in Phortse next to Phortse Thakri Gompa. The cattle proof enclosure demonstrates as ecosystem restoration in sacred lands above 3,900m. In this enclosure, we hope to plant all the seedlings from our nursery bed. This demonstration was modeled after the successful reforestation enclosure above Namche Bazar.


In order to avoid cattle getting into the reforestation sites, 100×100 meters enclosers have been constructed. The Gabion wire and angle poles have been ordered in Kathmandu and shipped to the nearest road head in Solu Phaplu, Shyangboche and carried out to Pangboche and Phortse.


The Partners Nepal launched the “One Day One Tree” program in 2016 in Pangboche. The program was designed to protect and restore fragile alpine ecosystems surrounding the sacred lands of Khumbu above 3900m through strengthening local management and conservation practices. This project was made possible with financial support from Hauser Exkursionen & Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation, Germany as initial base and later, the NepalHilfe Tirol (Austria), Engage Nepal, The Partners Nepal, Aero Telegraph, Sagarmatha Buffer Zone Users Group (Khumjung -4) and individual friends of conservation interests from local and international. As part of your trekking or climbing experience in the Khumbu, please consider making small donations that will help us protect and restore the fragile alpine ecosystems. Your small contribution will make a big difference in protecting the Khumbu Alpine Ecosystem. It also provides great opportunity to plant memory of your loved ones and your self at the very foot of Mt. Everest!!

If you are interested in this project, please consider sending it through:
We appreciate your interest in the “ONE DAY ONE TREE” project.