On launching the Jigme Khesar Environmental Research Fund (JKERF) in August 2013 by Her Majesty Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, Queen of Bhutan, the Royal Society for Protection of Nature initiated the first research fundraising of its kind with support from friends of RSPN from National University of Singapore.
Every living being instinctively develops a defense mechanism to prevent themselves from the predators.
Cranes in general prefer shallow water bodies for roosting. Movements on the surface of the water by the predators and other animals alarm the cranes and they fly away.
In Phobjikha, Black-necked Crane roosts are maintained and restored annually by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature around mid September, just before they start arriving in the valley. Observations have shown that the cranes prefer the artificial roosts over the natural ponds in Phobjikha.
Officials of the Forest Protection and Surveillance Unit seized a tiger skin and bones from two Indian men in Gelegphu on September 20. It was confiscated from a hotel in Gelegphu town before the men could trade it with the buyer, suspected to be Bhutanese.
August 5, 2013, Thimphu - Coinciding with the visit of Her Majesty Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck to the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, Her Majesty launched Jigme Khesar Environmental Research Fund (JKERF) as a part of the Jigme Khesar Environmental Resource Centre, which was launched in October 2012. The JKERF is launched under Her Majesty Gyaltsuen's initiative as the Royal Patron of the organization.
Bhutan's natural resources being the ultimate source of sustainability, the research fund will help to address an increasing need of science based information which is inadequately matched by research capacity in the country. It will also help to reduce dependency on external knowledge on our own natural resources.
A training was conducted from 12th to 19th May 2013 and the 2nd phase focusing on the refresher training was conducted from 7th to 11th June 2013 for homestay owners in Phobjikha. The training was conducted by the project team from RSPN and JEEF along with technical support of two trainers from the Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality (RITH) and with help and participation of the Service Division team from the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB).
A total of 9 local guides were trained in Phobjikha from 4th to 9th and 21st to 24 May 2013 under the community-based sustainable tourism project. The training was conducted by Mr. Masanori Shintani, a well-known international ecotourism interpretive trainer from Japan.
During the training the local guides were taught about the simple understanding of what ecotourism or community-based sustainable tourism is, and how being a good interpretive guide can add value to the tourist experience of a particular area.