December 11, Thimphu: Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck, Royal Patron for the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) and the Bhutan Ecological Society (BES) graced the tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing between UWICER, BES and School for Field Studies (SFS) at Taj Tashi.
The MoU provides the students from United States of America to undertake field based environmental studies in Bhutan and is the revised version of the one signed in September 2014 between UWICER and SFS.
The MoU highlights five areas of partnership between three institutions. It will provide US undergraduate students to gain international experience in Bhutan and Bhutanese university students the opportunity to team with US students to gain technical skills and research experience. It will also provide Bhutanese scientists to gain experience by teaching foreign students and useful research and insights to Bhutanese communities and key stakeholders. It will further help to organise relevant student research symposiums and conferences.
The Hon’ble Agriculture Secretary, Dasho Rinzin Dorji in his remarks stated that signing of this MoU is a historic one as it brings together government body, civil society organisation and international institution. He also stated that a decade long relation between these three institutions guarantees the implementation of activities as reflected in the MoU. He signed the MoU on behalf of UWICER.
Dr. James Cramer, President of the SFS signed the MoU. He shared about how this MoU tries to bring together broader understanding between the people of two nations. He acknowledged how this program has helped shape the American students and how their students are now serving as the ambassadors of Bhutan. He also said that Bhutan has the unique position to address moral and environmental education to students from elsewhere and acknowledged how this program has transformed American students for good.
Dr. Nawang Norbu, Vice President of the BES signed the MoU on behalf of BES. He acknowledged the unique relation UWICER and BES share and how this relation would be instrumental in implementing the activities reflected in the MoU. He also thanked the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and Department of Forests and Park Services for the never ending support rendered to the BES. He stated that this MoU will help engage more Bhutanese students and researchers for the program which remains imperative to promote science and education.
The SFS program housed within the UWICER began in 2010 with just 16 students attending 6 weeks summer programs. Till date, 222 American students have availed the program. With this MoU, the program shall see two semester programs of 15 weeks each and one summer program of six weeks every year. The MoU is valid for five years.
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