SMART Pa­trol En­force­ment Train­ing

Bhutan Times - - Home - ( Source : MoA & F)

Jan­uary 25-31, Zhem

gang: A week long train­ing on SMART Pa­trolling En­force­ment is un­der­way in Tingtibi, Zhem­gang. The train­ing is or­gan­ised by Jigme Singye Wangchuck Na­tional Park in con­cur­rence to the res­o­lu­tions of the third Na­tional Park Con­fer­ence 2015, held in Lam­pelri. The con­fer­ence had di­rected that all the Pro­tected Ar­eas and Ter­ri­to­rial Divi­sions to im­ple­ment their own SMART pa­trolling by recog­nis­ing the ap­pli­ca­bil­ity of SMART tool and based on pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences shared by Royal Manas Na­tional Park in their pi­lot ini­ti­a­tion. There­fore, the two re­source per­sons from the Royal Manas Na­tional Park were sought to de­liver the train­ing as per their ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence in pi­lot­ing SMART Pa­trol En­force­ment in the coun­try.

While con­ser­va­tion ef­forts put in by Bhutanese foresters are re­mark­able, the pa­trolling sys­tem fol­lowed is still the con­ven­tional method where no spe­cific data on the ef­forts put in by the foresters are re­flected though poach­ers and il­le­gal for­est prod­uct trans­ac­tions are recorded. This has left most of the ef­forts put in by the front­line con­ser­va­tion­ist un­recog­nised. Be­sides, there is no con­crete data and in­for­ma­tion on the ex­tent of pa­trolling con­ducted by in­di­vid­ual foresters and re­spec­tive agen­cies. Spa­tial Mon­i­tor­ing and Re­port­ing Tool (SMART) on the other hand is a soft­ware that gen­er­ate re­port at any time and for any length of pe­riod, pro­vided for the field prac­ti­tion­ers to col­lect data on Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tem (GPS) de­vice ev­ery time they go to the fields. From the re­port, the man­agers will be able to di­rect re­sources to the needy places and in­di­vid­ual ef­forts will be mea­sured for the mo­ti­va­tion. Im­ple­ment­ing SMART will mean a shift of pa­trolling sys­tem from con­ven­tional type to mod­ern dig­i­talised sys­tem. While SMART is gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity through­out the world, SMART was first in­tro­duced in Bhutan in the Roayal Manas Na­tional Park as a pi­lot pro­ject in 2013.

The Chief Forestry Of­fi­cer for Jigme Singye Wangchuck Na­tional Park, Pankey Dukpa in his open­ing re­marks, em­pha­sized on the need to un­der­stand our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of en­sur­ing sus­tain­able util­isa- tion of nat­u­ral re­sources, wildlife con­ser­va­tion and for­est pro­tec­tion. “Know­ing th­ese re­spon­si­bil­i­ties alone is not enough. The ul­ti­mate aim of the cur­rent train­ing is to equip our staffs by build­ing ca­pa­bil­ity through the use of ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties to put in cost ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive con­ser­va­tion” the Park Man­ager said.

The train­ing is be­ing at­tended by 31 front­line con­ser­va­tion­ists in­clud­ing 17 staffs from Jigme Singye Wangchuck Na­tional Park (JSWNP), and the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Bumdel­ing Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary, Ter­ri­to­rial Divi­sions of Bumthang, Sarpang, Tsir­ang, Zhem­gang and Wang­due, For­est Pro­tec­tion and Sur­veil­lance Divi­sion and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Divi­sion. While the cur­rent train­ing is the thresh­old for en­force- ment of SMART in JSWNP, it will also serve as the Train­ing of Train­ers (ToT) for the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the other divi­sions.

The fund­ing for the train­ing was se­cured through the cur­rent World Wildlife Fund, Funded pro­ject “In­ten­sive pri­or­ity Con­ser­va­tion through Com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion for main­tain­ing via Bio­di­ver­sity and Eco­log­i­cal Con­nec­tiv­ity in B2C2 land­scape” in Jigme Singye Wangchuck Na­tional Park.

The Bhutan’s old­est pro­tected area, Royal Manas Na­tional Park in­tro­duced SMART Pa­trolling in Novem­ber, 2013 and Jigme Singye Wangchuck Na­tional Park will be the se­cond Na­tional Park in the coun­try to use the SMART Pa­trol En­force­ment.

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