Bhutan Marks World Ranger Day To Honour Women Rangers In The Country

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The day, themed ‘Stand with the World’s Rangers’, was aimed at recognising women rangers in the country. Today, the forestry department has 206 women foresters.

Women rangers in Bhutan (Source: WWF Bhutan)

 

By Tshering Palden | Kuensel

“It’s never been easy staying away from loved ones and wandering in the forests,” said Tshewang Lhamo, a female ranger.

She was among the 100 or so women rangers who gathered in Thimphu to mark World Ranger Day on 31 July. Forest officials and guests present also planted tree saplings above Samardzingkha.

The day, themed ‘Stand with the World’s Rangers’, was aimed at recognising women rangers in the country. Today, the forestry department has 206 women foresters.

World Ranger Day is observed annually on July 31 and is celebrated by the International Ranger Federation’s (IRF) member associations, the Thin Green Line Foundation and by organisations and individuals who support and acknowledge the work of forestry rangers worldwide.

Paying tribute to forest rangers

Forest officer, Tshering Zam said that the day was observed also to pay tribute to those foresters who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The Thin Green Line Foundation estimates that around 100 rangers are killed while on duty every year.

 

Source: WWF Bhutan

 

The first batch of women in the forestry service were enrolled in 1996 in the two forestry institutions in Bhutan at the then Bhutan Forestry Institute at Taba and the Natural Resources Training Institute in Lobesa.

The department also has women foresters who have studied in Forestry Colleges in India and abroad.

A former woman forester, Sonam Choden said that the celebration of the day in honour of women rangers was a great boost for them.

How forest rangers in Bhutan can contribute to the environment

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said that Bhutan’s natural resources were also assets of the world and that protecting them contributed to the overall well-being of the planet.

“We’re also proud of the capacity development in our foresters, who have produced the reports that we launch today,” Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said.

As part of the celebrations, the Agriculture Ministry launched nine publications such as: Druk Rangers Magazine volume 2, the National Forest Inventory Report volume II, the Tiger Action Plan 2018-2023, 50 years of environmental Journey in Bhutan, six technical and policy briefs, Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment in Kurichhu Watershed, A field guide of Medicinal plants of Bumthang, BTFEC Five Years Report and the 11 FYP Terminal Report of the Ministry.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

 


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