The Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) is one of the oldest government departments established way back in 1952. During this initial inception period and until the early 1980s, the department used to be manned by foresters from India on deputation owing to the absence of national capacities. Since its establishment then and now, several paradigm shifts have been witnessed both in the way forest resources are managed and the maturation of the department. National capacities have been developed and now DoFPS is fully manned by nationals; and several legal and institutional changes have been brought in for sustainable management of forest resources and enhancement of service delivery to the public.
A massive political change has taken place in Bhutan in 2008 – the year of endorsement of the Constitution of Bhutan; the establishment of Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy; and the establishment of an elected government. Such a profound change in governance system in the country has also profound implications for government institutions, particularly in the way they function and deliver public services. Along with this historic change in the governance system of the country several important development and policy agendas have been taken up. Some of the major ones include the endorsement of the 10th FYP by the Parliament in December 2008; Ministry of Agriculture’s initiation of the revision of the National Forest Policy of 1974 and Forest and Nature Conservation Act of 1995. Both these documents have profound implications for the Department of Forest and Park Services in terms of its roles and responsibilities.
Further a review of the DoFPS roles and responsibilities is required to redefine the institutional and organizational roles for ensuring sustainable management of forest resources, efficient and effective forestry administration and service delivery.
Vision: “Sustaining Bhutan’s forest resources & biodiversity for the happiness of present and future generations”
Mission: “To conserve and manage Bhutan’s forest resources & biodiversity to ensure social, economic and environmental well-being, and to maintain a minimum of 60% of the land under forest cover for all times to come”
- Maintenance of a minimum of 60% of the country’s geographical area under forest cover for all times to come as mandated by the Constitution of Bhutan through development and implementation of forestry programs;
- Conservation, protection, sustainable management and utilization of state forests, forest soil, water resources and biodiversity through insightful application of good science and science-based management prescriptions;
- Ensuring Bhutan’s commitments to international and regional conventions, treaties and non-legally binding instruments through participation, facilitating and enactment of enabling policies, legislations, strategies, plans, and programs.
Functions of the Divisions:
Manage Bhutan’s forests for sustainable production of economic and environmental goods and services including sustainable supply of timber and other forest products, and to meet the long-term needs of society
- Maintain species persistence and ensure long term sustainability of Bhutan’s biodiversity, ecosystem services, natural habitats and cultural heritage;
- Provide for effective and integrated watershed management, maintain and improve water and watershed conditions and contribute to sustainable livelihoods through provision of watershed services;
- Provide for enabling environment for promotion of ecotourism and creation of nature recreational areas to bring benefits to local communities and enhance conservation;
- Empower rural communities manage forests sustainably for socio-economic benefits, poverty reduction and to contribute to overall sustainable forest management at national level;
- Facilitate raising forestry crop on registered land of individuals or institutions and accrue ecological, social and economic benefits;
- Enable an economically viable and efficient forest-based industry aimed at adding value to forest products and build capacity of private sector and rural communities to utilise, process and market forest products;
- Carry out research to generate knowledge, information and technology to support policy implementation and development;
For more information please visit www.dofps.gov.bt