A seventeen member team from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, (DNPWPC) led by their Director General, Dr. Nipon Chotibal was in the country from March 3-8 to study the forest management system and practices, particularly the protected area system management and Payment for Environmental Services (PES) in Bhutan.
This kind of study tour from the DNPWPC is an indication of the special relationship that the two countries share and particularly between the Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) and DNPWPC. The visit is aimed to strengthen the existing relationship and provide more opportunities for sharing experiences in protected areas, natural resources management and sustainable development particularly between DoFPS and DNPWPC. The DoFPS facilitated the delegation visit.
While in Bhutan, the team met with Mr. Chencho Norbu, the Director General for DoFPS and the senior officers from the Department. The two agencies discussed the possible areas of collaboration including the signing of a memorandum of understanding with main focus on capacity building of the Bhutanese forestry staff in the field of SMART patrolling, protected area management, human wildlife conflict management, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation among others.
The team also met with the Hon’ble Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji. Lyonpo highlighted that Bhutan and Thailand shares a long relationship, significantly the relationship between Bhutan and Thai monarchs. Lyonpo hoped that such visit would accomplish the goal of sustainable resources development and further strengthen the bond between two countries.
During the meeting, the DoFPS shared with the delegates the present status and challenges on protected areas and biological corridors and the experiences of PES in Bhutan.
The team also visited Paro, Punakha, Phobjikha valley and local sites during their stay. This is the third visit of the delegation; the second visit was undertaken in May 2013.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom with additional inputs from Tshering Zam, WCD and photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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