14th Congress of International Society for Ethno-biology (ISE) inaugurated in Bumthang

Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck inaugurated the Opening
Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck inaugurated the Opening

1-7 June, Bumthang: Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck inaugurated the opening of the 14th International Congress for Ethno-Biology at Ugyen Wangchuk Stadium in Chamkhar under Bumthang Dzongkhag. There are almost 200 Bhutanese participants and 400 international participants of 56 countries from 6 continents.

The inaugural ceremony of the 14th ISE congress was also attended by Dasho Sangay Wangchuk, Sanam Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Director General of Department of Forests and Park Services, sector heads and other dignitaries. The International Society of Ethno-biology is a global, collaborative network of individuals and organisations established in 1988 with this year’s theme as “One Earth for All; Regenerating Bio-cultural Ecosystem Resilience” to preserve the vital links between human societies and the natural world. Thus the ISE congress was a meeting of minds of different people and cultures from all around the globe in order to understand, safeguard and to promote the conservation of rich ancestral heritage to guide us in to future with its past wisdoms.

Informal group picture of the participants
Informal group picture of the participants

The congress was held at the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute of Conservation and Environment (UWICE). The congress shared the concern for the loss of traditional, local and indigenous knowledge and also the effects of that loss on biological, cultural and linguistic diversity. Therefore the ISE congress involved the talks on many disciplines including ‘ethno-biology, conservation of bio-cultural diversity, intellectual property and resource rights, ecology and applied ethics’ to channel it into sound resource methods, policies, resource use and decision making for the benefit of the future generations. Thus the week long congress brings together people from different locations of the world with diverse languages, cultures, and ideas to share, learn and work together to create innovative solutions. On the whole the ISE congress supported and promoted the efforts of indigenous peoples, their traditional societies and local communities to conserve their biological, cultural and linguistic diversity for all times. In addition the session also included the poster session and Biocultural Knowledge and film festival from different places and of indigenous people of the participant countries.

The International Society for ethno-biology which is held every after two years ended successfully on the grounds of the Ugyen Wangchuck stadium with a closing dinner and the new team of representatives was elected for the 15th ISE congress which is to be held at Uganda, Africa.

Reported by Tashi Yangzom, ICS

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