Environmental destructions affect human lives in various ways. The foremost among many is human-wildlife conflict and the way this impacts human livelihood. Recognizing this, the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) is supporting nine projects worth close to Nu 79 M.
The projects are all aimed at preventing loss of livelihoods to human-wildlife conflict and ensuring proper management of the environment. The BTFEC approved the nine ( 9) projects whose grant agreements were signed on 27 January 2020.
Of the nine projects, one is developing agroforestry as an alternative livelihood in the human-wildlife conflict hotspots in the country. Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment Research will be implementing this project with a fund of a little more than Nu 5 M. Farmers across the country have reported losing their crops to wild animals in the recent times. Farmers in the south have been worst hit by such conflict. For instance, farmers in Samtse have lost crops worth more than Nu 16 M to human-wildlife conflict in the last one year, according to the dzongkhag forest office. So to ensure that human and wild animals coexist for a sustainable community livelihood while conserving the elephants, Samtse dzongkhag forest office proposed BTFEC to support a project that cost more than Nu 10 M.
Similarly, grant agreements were also signed for the revival of a wellness garden by the Central Monastic Body and to protect and conserve drinking water sources for Orong and Deothang gewogs in Samdrup Jongkhar. Bumthang and Dagana were also among the grantees to manage watershed in respective districts.
In addition, the BTFEC also signed grant agreements with the College of Natural Resources and Clean Bhutan to build capacity for climate-smart agriculture and to develop a zero-waste model community at Changjiji.
A major recipient of grant is the livestock department- more than Nu 14 M to strengthen dog population management through effective waste management and mass animal birth control programme.