19-21 March, Thimphu: The Nature Conservation Division (NCD) of the Department of Forests & Park Services conducted a technical workshop on Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA). The main objective of the workshop was to introduce the concept of KBA and provide hands on application of International standards of KBA sites.
The KBAs are sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity and the global standard for the identification of KBAs was adopted by the IUCN in April 2016 and launched at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September of the same year.
The Chief of NCD, Sonam Wangdi opened the workshop highlighting the conservation efforts that Bhutan and emphasised the need for bringing critical conservation areas into improved management. The KBAs therefore, have potential to cover up current gaps.
During the workshop, participants were introduced to the concept and criterions for designating the KBAs. They also had hands on training on applying the criterion for identification and designation of KBAs using the available data of threatened species in Bhutan.
Today, Bhutan does not have any KBA designated but creation of one can contribute significantly towards conservation of species that are facing risk of extinction, through allocation of conservation funds. Therefore, a national coordination group will be formed to identify potential KBAs in Bhutan in the future. KBAs can be manageable sites both within and outside the protected areas.
The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Penny Langhammer, Director of KBAs and Species Assessment, Global Wildlife Conservation, US. It was attended by officials from all the divisional forests offices, protected areas and functional divisions of the Department, researcher from Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research and officials from other relevant agencies. The workshop was funded by RGoB and GEF LDCF/NAPA III Project.
-Nature Conservation Division
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