30 July 2015, Thimphu: Bhutan celebrated Global Tiger Day 2015, with the theme “Taking stock of Mountain Tigers in Bhutan for a Healthy Environment,” on 29 July at Royal Convention Centre in Thimphu. Initially declared in 2010 at St. Petersburg in Russia, Global Tiger Day was the consensus of all the 13 Tiger Range Countries to lobby for the support to reverse the dwindling tiger populations and to formulate an overarching global strategy to conserve wild tigers and their natural habitats.
According to the press release issued by Wildlife Conservation Division (WCD) who organized the event, this is the fourth time Bhutan celebrated the day in the row. The first Global Tiger Day was celebrated in 2011.
Hon’ble Prime Minister, His Excellency Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay graced the occasion as chief guest. In his keynote address, Hon’ble Lyonchen said that it is a proud moment to know that Bhutan has 103 tiger individuals. This, the Hon’ble Lyonchen said, is the befitting gift to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on his 60th birth anniversary.
Hon’ble Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Dasho Tenzin Dhendup while congratulating the department for successful conduct of the nation-wide tiger survey, submitted that Bhutan is one of the few countries where tigers roam in the forests in extreme south to high up in the mountains of north.
The Chief of Wildlife Conservation Division, Sonam Wangchuk presented on the national tiger survey report. This was followed by the Hon’ble Lyonchen formally releasing the Report on the National Tiger Survey of Bhutan, 2014 to 2015, coinciding with the Global Tiger Day. In acknowledgement of their hard work, the whole survey team members were given certificate of appreciation along with gift hampers contributed by WWF Bhutan Office.
Tigers are our national wealth, states the press release. Our nation’s astounding wealth of biodiversity has been bestowed upon by our visionary monarchs who continue to epitomize conservation leadership for Bhutan and Global Community as a whole. Further, the press release states that it is under the guidance of the generations of our farsighted Kings, tigers are totally protected in Bhutan by listing the species under the schedule I of the Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan 1995.
The chief guest also formally launched Bhutan Forest & Wildlife Enforcement Database of DoFPS. This will enable department to maintain a central database of all illegal forest and wildlife trade in whole Bhutan in addition to streamlining the current system of patrolling in the parks and other field divisions.
The DoFPS initiated nationwide revalidation of tigers in Bhutan to pay deepest respects and tribute to our beloved Fourth King and to commemorate the 60th Birth Anniversary.
The celebration of the day was joined by Hon’ble Chief Justice, Supreme Court, Hon’ble Speaker and members of National Assembly, Hon’ble Ministers of the cabinet, Royal Privy Council, representatives of the international organizations, teachers and students of the Thimphu Thromde beside officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
The event was co-financed by The World Bank, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), TX2, WWF Bhutan office and Department of Forests and Park Services of Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
Reported by: Ugyen Tshering, ICS,
Photo by: Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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