August 17-19: Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) conducted three days training workshop on Protected Area (PA) management planning at Phrumsengla National Park (PNP). Twelve park officials from Ura Park Head Office, Western Park Range (Ura, Bumthang), Central Park Range (Lingmethang, Mongar) and Eastern Park Range (Phawan, Lhuntse) attended it.
The training introduced the park officials to the international standards of good management planning cycle, steps of sound management planning and requirements for successful preparation and implementation of management plans. It is the first of its kind to be conducted for PNP park officials by UWICER. The officials expressed this training workshop as one of its first kind that they are attending in their service tenure under PAs.
PA management plan is the flagship document with overall strategy for the successful management of PA. It is not an internal organisational plan for the management authority but aimed at coordinating the efforts of all the stakeholders who can influence the management effort. The plan guides managers and assures accountability over the allocated resources. It is also sought for reference by the donors who will want to fund the PAs. The planning process is continuous and never static and as important as the plan itself. The process develops and maintains relationships with stakeholders and this largely determines the success of the plan implementation.
PNP was chosen for this training because the existing management plan (July 2013-June 2018) which was actually planned for July 2008-June 2013 could not be implemented and it expires 10 months from now. The training was to develop the capacity of the park officials to prepare the next plan. Out of 12 participants, two of them have participated in the process and preparing the management plan in other parks. All the participants will soon be contributing to the preparation of PNP management for the first time.
The other reason for having chosen PNP is, Thinley Choden, who conducted the training has done her master’s research on “An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Protected Area Management Model in Bhutan: A case study of Phrumsengla National Park, Central Bhutan.” Her research findings and recommendations were also disseminated to the participants.
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