Wetlands For a Sustainable Urban Future

Bhutan currently has 3 sites designated as wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of about 1,225 hectares.

Bhutan has named Gangtey-Phobji (Ramsar Site no. 2264) as its third and largest Wetland of International Importance. (Source: https://www.ramsar.org)

 

The Thimphu Mountain Biking Club and the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS) celebrated World Wetland Day at Thimphu Eco Park yesterday.

The Watershed Management Division under DoFPS organised a biking race, fun run and cleaning campaign as an awareness program to commemorate the day.

The theme for the day was wetlands for a sustainable urban future this year. More than 40 participants took part in the event.

The Youth Development Fund and Thimphu Thromde have adopted the Thimphu Eco Park. The park has a large stretch of wetland harbouring diverse species of flora and fauna. It has around 130 plant species. The park is home to 61 percent herbaceous plant and 21 percent shrubs. The park also houses the endangered bird species such as the wood snipe.

Threats to wetlands in Bhutan

DoFPS’ focal person, Sonam Choden, said that there has been definite loss of wetlands over the years because of the wetland conversion. Marsh and streams are the most threatened in urban areas.

Bhutan currently has 3 sites designated as wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of about 1,225 hectares.

Choden said that the people from farming background are aware of the wetlands and their benefits. However, it is difficult to retain urban wetlands. In rural areas, road construction and other activities cause wetland fragmentation.

Advantages of having wetlands

Wetlands help to reduce flooding as it acts as sponges and absorb waters during heavy rainfall.

“Wetland helps replenish drinking water as they filter the water that seeps into it, improves urban air, water quality, and promote urban well-being.”

The general types of wetlands include lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, vernal pools, marshes, peat bogs and predominately waterlogged areas.

To study the stock and types of wetlands in the country, the DoFPS has prioritised national wetlands inventory and mapping.

Results of the Fun Run

In the Fun Run, Chimi Dema won the women’s above 18 category while Chimi Pelden Dorji won the below 17 category. Dawa Tshering came in first in the men’s above 18 category and Dorji Tshering won the below 17 category.

Chimi Dema, the lone female participant completed the bike race in 51 minutes 15 seconds. Tandin Wangchuk completed the race in 33 minutes 16 seconds and won the men’s above 18 category. Jamba Gyatsho Dorji completed the race in 36 minutes 58 seconds to win the below 17 category.Cyclists had to cover a distance of 9.6 kilometers.

 

By Nima (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.

 

 


Related Posts

Phobjikha Residents Support Black-Necked Crane Conservation

According to a study on the conservation of black-necked cranes and its perceived trade-offs in Phobjikha Valley, 75...

Dec 08, 2017 15:09

Man-made Pond Invites Black-Necked Cranes

Developed by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) last September, the pond ensures the safety of the winged...

Jan 10, 2018 16:52

Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen Inaugurates Ozone Park

Motithang Park in Thimphu was declared an ‘Ozone Park’. With the support from Thimphu Thromde, the park was remodelled...

Nov 07, 2017 17:44

Project to Make 15 villages Climate Resilient

In an effort to resolve water scarcity and to reduce human wildlife conflicts, the Tarayana Foundation would be...

Jan 30, 2018 07:13

Fish Centre Needs More Trout Feed

Mr Singye Tshering said there is a high demand for fish in the country and it is important to promote the culture among...

Jan 20, 2018 09:23

Denmark to Support Bhutan’s Organic Agriculture

Bhutan officially launched the policy for organic farming in 2007 and proclaimed the intention to become a fully organic...

Oct 24, 2017 14:50

Latest

News

Bhutan Lifts Ban On Rupee Note, Advises Against Holding Indian Currency In Cash

Bhutanese can now bring new series of INR 500 notes in and out of Bhutan.

Jun 20, 2018 15:17

Bhutan Joins Seeds Without Borders To Import Better Quality Seeds

The seed agreement covers a number of rice-based crops such as maize, wheat, vegetables, pulses and other crops.

Jun 18, 2018 17:40

Features

63 Year Old Traditional Healer In Bhutan Has Fixed More Than A Thousand Sprains And Fractured Bones

For more than three decades, Tashi Wangdi has been fixing fractures and sprained joints in Trashigang.

Jun 23, 2018 08:43

Tsirang’s Farmers Grow Broom Grass To Combat Landslide

Coinciding with the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on June 17, the Tsirang forest division planted at least 10,000 saplings...

Jun 21, 2018 18:26

Sports

World Cup Mania Grips Some Teenagers, Adults And Monks In Bhutan

A huge crowd has gathered in front of the massive TV screen to witness the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Jun 24, 2018 18:25

Bhutanese Sonam Rigzin Played As Goalkeeper For His Team ‘King Cobra’ In The F4F World Championship In Russia

Sonam Rigzin walked into the Sapsena Arena in Russia bearing the Bhutanese national flag to open the finals.

Jun 16, 2018 08:45

Business

Interview With Bhutan Alternatives: A Social Enterprise Which Recycles Printer Cartridges

The firm also employed 17 female and 13 male employees from underprivileged families and high school dropouts.

Jun 22, 2018 10:55

Modern Beekeeping In Dophuchen Yields Much Sought-After Bhutanese Honey, Royal Jelly And More

Other by-products such as wax, royal jelly, pollen and propolis are also in healthy demand in the market.

Jun 19, 2018 18:12

Travel

Six Senses Bhutan Preparing For October 2018 Opening

Three of the five Six Senses luxury lodges are now taking reservations for travel starting on Nov 3, 2018.

Jun 21, 2018 10:01

Heat Maps Illustrate the Sacred Routes of Buddhist Pilgrims

In Strava’s heat maps, the devotional movements of tired pilgrims become blazing symbols of sacred geography.

Jun 18, 2018 09:32

Lifestyle

‘Do You Know Your Child’ A Popular Show In Bhutan Helps Parents Bond Better With Their Kids

Since its inception in 2013, about 264 Bhutanese children have participated in the show.

Jun 20, 2018 18:43

Mountain Echoes Literary Festival Returns On Aug 23 - Here's Why You Should Attend

This year's festival celebrates 50 years of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and India.

Jun 15, 2018 00:32

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!