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  • Launch of sustainable rangeland management project to protect red pandas and herder livelihoods in Merak

    picture1On Sunday 23 October 2016, the Regional Livestock Development Centre, Khangma and Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Phongmey in conjunction with the Merak herder community launched a new project at Merak village. The project objective is to improve herder livelihoods, rangeland management and red panda habitat in winter grazing areas of Cheabuling and Sheytemi, Merak Geog. The chief guest was Dasho Sherab Zangpo of Sakteng Dungkhag. Other local guests included the newly elected Gup and Mangmi of Merak, and Regional heads of Trashigang Department of Livestock, and Merak school principal. Overseas guests included Dr Joanne Millar and Dr Karma Tenzing from Charles Sturt University, Australia.

    The project is funded by The Darwin Initiative Fund, UK and will run from 2016 to 2019.

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  • Bhutan is first among the Governments of Snow Leopard Range Countries to conduct the first national level camera trap survey of Snow Leopard

    23 October 2016, Thimphu: On the fourth International Snow Leopard Day, Bhutan joins other global communities to celebrate this important day and proudly declares an estimated 96 individuals to be found across the mountainous terrain of Northern Bhutan. Bhutan might be the only unique place where this species thrive in shared landscape with the nomadic herders.

    The nationwide survey was completed by a team of national staff from Department of Forest and Park Services over a period of almost two years commencing August 2015, initally, with the sign and prey base survey followed closely by the camera trap survey. About 147 forest staffs were involved in the survey, hiking for months through some of the country’s highest, steepest and remotest mountain ranges to confirm the presence of the elusive and endangered cat commonly known as the “Ghost of High Mountains”. They conducted systematic surveys of tracks as well as installing camera traps in 223 locations.

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  • Rare and elusive Clouded Leopard rescued from Punakha

    sedated-clouded-leopard18 October 2016, Thimphu: In what could go down the history of wildlife rescue, forestry officials of wildlife rescue centre at Taba and Wangdue Forest Division together rescued a clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) aged 6-7 years which was caught in an old cable snare set supposedly to ward off wild pest from vegetable garden at Mendrelgang in Punakha on October 16, 2016.

    According to rescue officials, the incident was reported by the farmer to the area Resoop who in turn reported to the concerned officials. “When we reached there, we found the clouded leopard caught in the cable snare,” said one of the rescue team members, Tsencho Tshering.

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  • IFAD Missions in Bhutan

    Two teams of mission comprising nine members from IFAD arrived Samdrupjongkhar on 15th October. While Project Completion Report (PCR) Validation Mission of MAGIP (Market Access and Growth Intensification Project) will basically be reviewing and validating the Project Completion Report prepared and submitted by PCU MAGIP following IFAD’s PCR guidelines on 30th September 2016, the Supervision Mission for CARLEP (Commercial Agriculture and Resilient Livelihoods Enhancement Programme) will broadly assess the overall Programme Progress according to the AWPB and implementation initiatives following its formal launch in March this year.

    For CARLEP, this is the 1st Supervision Mission. The mission mainly aims to perform the regular supervisory, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities in line with IFAD’s direct Supervision and Implementation support policies. It also aims to provide support to programme team in identifying and resolving any bottle-neck or emerging issues in the Programme related areas.

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  • ISO 22000:2005- Food Safety Management System: Lead Auditors’ Training Programme

    picture1The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), MoAF is organizing 2nd batch ISO 22000:2005 – Food Safety Management System (FSMS), Lead Auditors’ Training Course from 17th-21st October 2016. The five days training programme approved by the International Register of Certified Auditors (IRCA) is being imparted by Mr. Jibandip Mandal, Principal Trainer from DNV GL International based in Kolkata. The ISO 22000 – FSMS is an International Standard that defines the requirements of a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) covering all organizations in the food chain from “Farm to Fork” in order to ensure that the food is safe at the time of consumption.

    The main objective of this training programme is to build the technical capacity of BAFRA as the inspection and certification body for food and agriculture products. This training programme will not only cover the aspects of ISO 22000 – FSMS but will also cover the requirements of Food Safety System Certification (FSSC), which is increasingly becoming popular at the International level and Bhutan needs to promote such recognized practices to ensure food safety.

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