The Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF), Japan, will be supporting a yearlong project for RSPN entitled “Environmental Education and conservation of critically endangered White-bellied Heron (WBH) and vulnerable Black-necked Crane (BNC) in Bhutan” with the approved grant of JPY 4,765,000 .

The objectives of the project  are to (i) Develop adequate awareness and education materials on WBH and BNC for distribution and (ii) Sensitize communities, institutions local authorities and relevant stakeholders on conservation need of the WBH and BNC in the Bhutan,  through effective outreach program

Some of the major activities under this project will include:

Development of the environmental education and awareness materials such as a book on Black-necked Crane population and conservation status in Bhutan, label pins of both the birds, development of posters, flyers, brochures, banners for awareness program, development of habitat map to be distributed to the schools and institutions, and development of postcards and stamps with image and conservation messages.

Outreach programs will include Environment Education program for students (formal and non-formal institutions including monastic institutions) and community members and leaders.

WBH and BNC stakeholder coordination meetings and workshops to provide platform to share experiences and lessons from different agencies, discuss and identify issues relating to conservation of BNC and WBH and develop a well-coordinated work plan to avoid duplication of effort.

Art and essay competition among school children to engage them in learning, exploring and sharing their experience and knowledge about the environment and to foster conservation effort of the birds.  The tentative title of the competition is “conservation of WBH and BNC in Bhutan”.

KNCF have supported in the conservation of Black-necked Cranes since 2012 and RSPN have jointly worked on such projects with a Japanese NGO; Japan Environmental Education Forum (JEEF, http://www.jeef.or.jp).

The Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF) is a public trust established in 2000. It was authorized by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (JAPAN) in April 2000. The KNCF announces for applicants/proposal for the Fund on this website every year (http://www.keidanren.or.jp). KNCF provides assistance for nature conservation efforts implemented by NGO/NPO in developing countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region and also provides assistance for nature conservation efforts and sustainable use of natural resources in Japan. A high level delegates from KNCF also visited Bhutan and RSPN office in 2011.

Reported by: Tshering Phuntsho, RSPN