31 July 2017, Thimphu: The Bhutan Trust for Environmental Conservation joined the nation in celebrating World Rangers’ Day on 31 July 2017 in Changlingmithang, Thimphu, as part of its silver jubilee celebration.
The celebration of the first World Ranger Day in Bhutan providentially coincided with the year Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation turned 25 years since its inception in 1992. Established under Royal Charter of His Majesty Jigme Sigye Wangchuk, the Fourth King of Bhutan in 1996, BTFEC has been since been a strong conservation partner for the forest department.
In Thimphu, making his keynote address, Dasho Tshering Tobgay, the Prime Minister thanked Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation in their continued efforts in protecting and conserving the forests.
Lyonchhen explained that Their Majesties’ focuses on cleanliness and environment preservation is the crust of our success and that they are the real Champions of Environment preservation in Bhutan.
Lyonchhen explained that Rangers can be accredited as guardians of the country’s security for their service in biological corridors, sanctuaries and parks; their efforts in times of fire; and the core of their service for nation building. “We thank you all for your service,” He added and apologized for being late in acknowledging them for so long. “Your service matter and I thank you for your service,” Lyonchhen said to the rangers.
The Rangers day also remembered and thanked 13 ranger who lost their life and 11 injured in line of duty.
Seven categories of certificates were also awarded in recognition of the recipients’ outstanding services and to encourage environmental stewardship.
The day also saw launches of the Society of Bhutanese Foresters; Druk Rangers Magazine; and Forest Informations Resource Management System.
The first World Ranger Day was first observed in 2007 on the 15th anniversary of the founding of International Ranger Federation (IRF). Founded in 1992, the IRF is a non-profit organization that helps to raise understanding and supports the crucial work that the world’s park rangers do in preserving natural and cultural heritage.
Government Secretaries, Members of the Parliament of Bhutan, Hon’ble Justices from Supreme and High Courts, Country Representative of WWF-Bhutan, Director of Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation, Executive Director of Bhutan Foundation, UNDP Resident Coordinator, representatives from Helvetas, Austrian Development Cooperation, International Rangers Federation, Wildlife Trust of India were also present during the event.
Launching of Society of Bhutanese Foresters
The launching of Society of Bhutanese Forester to the International Rangers Federation (IRF) is another milestone in Bhutan’s commitment towards ensuring that Bhutan’s flora and fauna are protected and public services are delivered effectively.
The International Rangers Federation, set up in 1992, provides a forum for rangers, from around the world, to share their successes and failures in protecting the world’s heritage and to promote information and technology transfer. The launching of the society garners further support to conservation’s frontline heroes.
Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister of Agriculture and Forests presented the certificate recognizing the society of Bhutanese Foresters, to the Director, Department of Forest and Park Services.
Launching of Forestry Publications Druk Rangers Magazine
In order to monitor the land use and land cover change, the need for having updated and periodic land use and land cover assessment is indispensable. The first land use and land cover atlas was published in 1995 which was followed by second assessment in 2010. This third Land use and land cover assessment has been led by FRMD, DoFPS under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. This is the first assessment that is exclusively carried out by national GIS and remote sensing expert under MoAF highlighting the development of our national capacity .The assessment was carried out using Landsat Satellite Imageries and provides spatially explicit overview of the current land use and land cover maps and statistics of 20 Dzonkhags.
Launching of Forest Information Resource Management System
Recognizing the need for most recent and reliable information and data for good decision -making, Forest Resources Management Division (FRMD)of Department of Forests and Park Services has developed Forest Information Reporting and Management System (FIRMS).This robust online system will ensure reporting of all forestry services rendered by the Department within a click of a button.
This system replaces earlier Microsoft Access based system – an offline reporting system improving efficiency of reporting, enhancing the scope of data being reported and data consistency.