IUCN Regional Director calls on Hon’ble Lyonpo

Meeting in progress

4 February, Thimphu: Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji, the Regional Director of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called on Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji.

Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji shared updates on IUCN work in Bhutan, particularly on the transboundary environmental work between Bhutan, Nepal, India and other countries in the region. Basically she highlighted three proposals to Hon’ble Lyonpo.

The proposals included developing a role as Bhutan became signatory to Ramsar convention. She suggested more implementation of Ramsar convention and identification of particular wetlands in Bhutan. She also expressed that they will continue to facilitate and assist the country to accede to conventions, trainings, mapping, management of plans in terms of two ramsar sites and others. She suggested a need for a focal point within the ministry to forward the proposal.

Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji further expressed the keen interest of IUCN to work with the monastic body. She stated ‘this project, because it’s within monasteries, there are lot of additional dimensions one can look at.’ She elaborated that there is a whole section of IUCN that particularly looks at the faith based conservation. She stated ‘In other words what is written in the philosophy that makes them basically more receptive to conservation and management of natural resources.’ She also highlighted that this will bring in a lot of international recognition in what Bhutan is doing and on the role of monastery in conservation. On this note, Lyonpo requested to help the Schools as well. He stated that ‘Schools have large campus and helping them will ensure the younger one the custodian of conservation in future.’

The meeting also discussed on the issue of human wildlife conflicts. To which Lyonpo highlighted the mitigation measures and the efforts put in by the ministry. Having pictured the circumstances, Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji suggested rather than duplicating the efforts, IUCN could put in value added effort in bringing in one of the best practices from the countries which has been dealing with such issue for a longer time. She suggested some kind of exchanged visits and alternative visits of expatriates.Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji conveyed their interest to establish a clear working relationship with the people and the ministry. She suggested a way forward and establishment with identification of focal points.

Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji is in Bhutan from 4 till 8 February for a meeting on Himalaya- Third pole circle which is convened with support of His Majesty the King and the President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.

– Reported by Tashi Yangzom with photos from Tandin Norbu, ICS

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