Hidden in the dense forests, closer to the great Jowo Durshing, and for so long clung to their traditional customs without proper connectivity with modern infrastructures, villages of Rukha, Lawa and Lamga remained as real epitome of classical Bhutanese settlers. These isolation has indeed been a boon when it comes to preserving their traditional culture and harnessing the local resources in the most sustainable ways, as they are the major source of livelihood. Nya-Dosem, a smoke-dried fish is a local delicacy much sought by the elites and their artistic product like Zem are much demanded. Being residents inside Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (JSWNP), the park management has been trying to uplift their livelihood and has supported them with many Integrated Conservation Development Program activities. Once believed to be hunters and gatherers, they are now an integral part of the park and plays a vital role in conservation because of the support and incentives delivered by the national park.
In an effort to promote their local products especially those made from cane and bamboo, JSWNP is currently conducting a product diversification and improvement training for the peoples of Lawa and Lamga. The training attended by youths, women and elderly men from the villages intends to integrate and harmonise this traditional crafting culture and pass down the younger generations. The park officials facilitated the programme with resource persons from the beneficiaries. The intention is to encourage the community to harness the best from their community forest by the sale of products obtained from their CFs and to build better stewardship for proper management of the resources without exploitation.
Diversified and well-furnished products are expected to fetch better price in the local market, which will encourage people to practice sustainable forestry. Resources like cane and bamboo are considered green gold for the farmers so, with proper management and harvesting, it has the potential to help enhance the income of the farmers. Such initiative is also expected to build a better partnership between park community and the conservation fraternity thereby reducing illicit harvesting of resources, hunting and poaching from the protected zones.
The activity is a part of WWF funded project “Intensive priority Conservation through Community participation for maintaining viable Biodiversity and Ecological Connectivity in B2C2 landscape” implemented in JSWNP since July 2015.
Submitted by JSWNP
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