October 23, Bumthang: The Wangchuck Centennial National Park is one of the protected areas in Bhutan, which has around 17 snow leopard out of 96 individuals in the country as per the National Snow Leopard Survey.
To mark the Global Snow Leopard Day with this year’s theme “Save the Ghost of mountain” regarding importance of snow leopard in mountain ecosystem and threat post for its survival due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, over 1200 students from different schools under the area of Wangchuck Centennial National Park gathered at Wangduechhoeling Lower Secondary School in Bumthang.
24 October 2017, Thimphu: The Japanese expert, Dr. Watanabe, and the Australian Volunteer/Plant Pathologist, Dr. Naomi Diplock attached with the National Mushroom Centre (NMC) conducted a three-day training program on mushroom spawn production techniques for private individuals and staff from ARDC from 17 to 19 April 2017 in collaboration with the NMC.
At the moment mushroom spawn is being produced and distributed by NMC and the other mushroom units under ARDC. However these centres are not able to meet the growing demand from the mushroom growers due to high demand and dwindling budget. Moreover the growers are located in different parts of the country and their remoteness makes delivery of mushroom spawn difficult. Mushroom spawn also get damaged during transport since the refrigerated vehicles and cold storage facilities is not readily available. Due to the increasing demand it is felt that commercialising mushroom spawn production is also viable if the producers are adequately trained.
14-15 October, Soe: The fifth Jomolhari Mountain Festival ‘celebrating the life in the mountains’ was held in Damgochong near Jomolhari base camp under Soe Park Range of Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP). The festival was graced by Paro Dzongdag, Secretary for Gross National Happiness Commission, Member of Parliament from Thimphu, Dungkhag administration of Lingshi, and officials from Bhutan Foundation, Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), Ministry along with tourists and the locals from Soe, Yaksa, Nubri and Lingshi.
The festival is one of the unique occasion where by members of the whole Jomolhari community gather together to enjoy and celebrate their cultural heritage and also learn about ecotourism opportunities in the region. The festival also raised awareness on snow leopard conservation, by improving local community member’s perception of, and attitudes towards the endangered species and creating a plat form for economic opportunities and sustainable livelihood.