Na­tional Park Con­fer­ence

Bhutan Times - - Home - Thuk­ten Norbu

The open­ing ses­sion of the ‘Na­tional Park Con­fer­ence and Global Tiger Day Cel­e­bra­tion’ was graced by His Ex­cel­lency Ly­onchen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay at the Con­ven­tion Cen­tre last Thurs­day. The ses­sion was also at­tended by Ly­onpo D.N. Dhun­gel, Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Ly­onpo Yeshey Dorji, Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests, Dasho Paljor.J.Dorji, sev­eral Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, Dasho Ugen Tshe­wang, Sec­re­tary, Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Com­mis­sion, Dasho Ten­zin Dhendup, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and For­est, Dasho Dr. Sonam Ten­zin, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs, se­nior govern­ment officials of var­i­ous govern­ment min­istries and de­part­ments, desups, 120 stu­dents & teach­ers of Thim­phu Thromde schools.

The Global Tiger Day was also cel­e­brated at the open­ing ses­sion. Although the Global Tiger Day falls on 29th of July, the de­part­ment post­poned this cel­e­bra­tion to co­in­cide with the mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion of launch­ing the Na­tional Park Con­fer­ence. Fur­ther, the Hon­or­able Chief Guest re­leased the pre­lim­i­nary re­sults of the first ever na­tion­wide tiger sur­vey. A doc­u­men­tary film part one on the na­tion­wide tiger sur­vey was also screened. This sur­vey is lead by our Bhutanese na­tion­als and the fi­nal sur­vey re­ports will be avail­able in 2015 to com­mem­o­rate the Birth An­niver­sary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

One of the ini­tia­tives planned to mark the 60th Birth An­niver­sary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo is the ‘Green Bhutan Project’. This project fo­cuses on Green­ing Thim­phu Val­ley and its com­ple­tion is ap­pro­pri­ately timed to com­mem­o­rate the cel­e­bra­tions in Novem­ber 2015. The Green­ing Thim­phu is in­tended to im­prove the Cap­i­tal City’s green­ery through land­scap­ing and ur­ban plan­ta­tion for so­cial, eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal well be­ing of its res­i­dents. The De­part­ment of Forests and Park Ser­vices is lead­ing this ini­tia­tive and a sep­a­rate project man­age­ment team is in­sti­tuted with mem­bers from var­i­ous agen­cies un­der the min­istry for ef­fi­cient im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project. The chief guest also launched the ‘Green Bhutan Project’ web­site.

Mov­ing to the parks con­fer­ence, the theme of this year’s park con­fer­ence is “En­hanc­ing Con­ser­va­tion Pro­grams in the Pro­tected Ar­eas in the Chang­ing En­vi­ron­ment”. The three days con­fer­ence has six main ses­sions with spe­cific sub­themes. The de­part­ment has en­sured that pri­or­ity emerg­ing con­ser­va­tion is­sues be dis­cussed dur­ing the con­fer­ence. Rec­og­niz­ing its due im­por­tance and also to main­tain con­ti­nu­ity to the works car­ried out in the pre­ced­ing years, the De­part­ment have de­cided to re­vive the park con­fer­ence as an an­nual event. It is vi­tal that pro­tected area man­agers meet an­nu­ally to share, up­date, learn and de­lib­er­ate on the con­ser­va­tion is­sues, chal­lenges and pos­si­ble so­lu­tions. This parks con­fer­ence will spear head the tasks to con­duct the man­age­ment ef­fec­tive­ness evalu-

ation in our pro­tected ar­eas.

The parks con­fer­ence for three con­sec­u­tive years will be funded through the WWF Bhutan pro­gram project on “Sus­tain­ing Ecosys­tem for Liveli­hood: Eco-life”. An exit mech­a­nism to in­sti­tu­tion­al­ize the parks con­fer­ence and man­age­ment ef­fec­tive­ness eval­u­a­tion of pro­tected area will be de­vel­oped to en­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of such im­por­tant con­ser­va­tion ac­tiv­ity.

The Pro­gramme is funded by the World Wildlife Fund (Bhutan Pro­gram), Wildlife Trust of In­dia (WTI), In­ter­na­tional Fund for An­i­mal Wel­fare (IFAW) Bhutan Trust Fund for En­vi­ron­ment Con­ser­va­tion (BTFEC) and Royal Govern­ment of Bhutan. Many thanks for the con­tin­ued sup­port to all the bene­fac­tor

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