A total of 20 members from Buli Environment Management Committee (BEMC), Zhemgang successfully completed the wetland conservation and management study tour to Gangtey and Phobji from 19-23 December 2015.
The objective of the study tour is to raise awareness on wetland conservation and management and learn from the Gangtey-Phobji Environment Management Committee (GPEMC).
The participants included officials from Zhemgang Dzongkhag Administration, Nangkhor Gewog Administration and representatives of the local communities. When they are back to Buli, the committee members will be involved in drafting of the Buli Watershed Management plan in 2016.
During the study tour, the participants were exposed to the past and current wetland management mechanism in Gangtey–Phobji valley, importance of wetland management and interacted with the Gantey–Phobjikha Environmental Management Committee and the local women’s group.
The group hiked along the Gangtey Nature trail and had the tour of the Black-necked Crane Visitor Center (BNCVC).
In addition, presentations and discussions on Royal Society for Protection of Nature’s activities such as the Community-based Sustainable Tourism, solid waste management activities and the Black-necked Crane conservation were also conducted.
The group stayed at local homestays and experiences the authentic local life style. The group members, who were mostly visiting Gangtey-Phibji valley for the first time, were amazed by the vastness of the wetland and the cranes.
The committee members also had the opportunity to understand how management of the area is coordinated by government, NGO and stakeholders. They discussed practical issues on wetland management, local capacities, ill-effects of tourism among others as a reflective learning.
The group also visited the famous Gangtey Gonpa and Khewang Lhakhang.
The tour was facilitated by RSPN officials with support from Zhemgang Dzongkha Administration, GPEMC members, home stay owners and BEMC.
Reported by Tashi Dawa & Tshering Phuntsho, RSPN