This year, the International Tiger Day was celebrated at Norbugang Primary School, Nganglam in Pemagatshel on July 29. The Global Tiger Centre in Gelephu and the Royal Manas National Park (RMNP) led the celebration with a theme, ‘Monks and Farmers for Tiger Conservation’.
More than 500 people including farmers from all chiwogs of Norbugang, forestry officials and others gathered. The Drangpon of the Nganglam Drungkhag Court graced the day.
The celebration of the tiger day started from July 26 with awareness programs to the communities in four chiwogs of Norbugang. In addition to forest officials from the centre, RMNP and Nganglam Range; Khepo of Dhongag Tenpailing Monastery, principal, health assistant, gewog livestock extension officer, gup and other officials from Norbugang joined the team to create awareness on tiger conservation and waste management.
During the two days awareness program, forestry officials gave talk on status of tigers, importance of conservation and measures taken by the government to protect tigers and other wildlife. Khenpo spoke about poaching and sacrosanctity of all life forms.
One of the attractions on July 29 was that more than 20 poachers have taken a vow from the Khempo to give up poaching activities. According to the centre’s Program Director, Tshering Tempa, ‘This is very significant’. He said, ‘This time about 20 of them are giving up and we look forward for few more to give up’. He added that Dorji Wangchuk and Sonam Wangchuk of RMNP along with Khenpo have been very instrumental in convincing these poachers to come forward and give up these kinds of activities. DoFPS thank and offered their greatest appreciation to concerned people, particularly Khenpo, Principal and Health Assistant of Norbugang for taking very proactive role in curbing poaching activities in the areas.
According to Tandin from the Nature Conservation Division, ‘This is incredible, this is the first time that communities, monks and local officials have joined hand and come forward to help us protecting tigers and wildlife’. As a token of appreciation, on behalf of DoFPS, these ex-poachers were given white scarves, prayer beads and portraits of Their Majesties and His Holiness the Je Khenpo.
The funding for this year’s program was provided by Bhutan Foundation, WWF and IUCN-KWF.
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