Mr. Sonam Phuntsho


Mr. Sonam Phuntsho started planting trees as a primary school student in the early 1970s. Since then, he has planted more than 10,000 saplings of bluepine, maple and oak throughout Bhutan. He organised one of the first cleaning campaigns in Thimphu in 1996. He subsequently organized large groups of volunteers for waste collection and cleaning campaigns in other areas as well, including along Sangaygang ridge and in the Gasa Tshachu area. Mr. Sonam Phuntsho has been involved in fighting forest fires since 2000. A recent issue of the Journalist nicknamed him the “Green Man”, although he is called “Ata” by his colleagues at the Information and Communication Services (ICS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, where he presently works.

Past Awards

The Jigme Singye Wangchuck Outstanding Environmental Stewardship Award (JSW-OESA) is conferred once every two years. It honours individuals, groups and institutions from all backgrounds for a lifetime of contribution towards ensuring the security and sustainability of Bhutan's pristine environment. It particularly merits people who have gone beyond the normal call-of-duty in their service towards environmental protection.