On 3rd October 2012, a single story Forest Outpost cum Residence was inaugurated in Ramaychen in Phobj Gewog (Phobjikha), Wangduephodrang. The outpost was constructed by RSPN and handed over to the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS), Ministry of Agriculture and Forest.
The forest outpost was inaugurated jointly by Mr. Chencho Norbu, Director, DoFPs and Mr. Lam Dorji (Ph.D), Executive Director, RSPN. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between RSPN and DoFPs for the purpose of strengthening conservation efforts and law enforcement in Phobjikha conservation area.
The MoU emanates from the longstanding collaboration between the two institutions to conserve the biological diversity of Phobjikha executed under RSPN’s project to strengthen conservation management of Phobjikha conservation area under Phobjikha and Gangtey Gewogs.
While RSPN, as non-governmental agency, deems it necessary to strengthen the legal status of Phobjikha as a conservation area for sustained ecological significance of area and associated ecosystem services in the long term, the DoFPs concurs with the proposal of RSPN for strengthened status of Phobjikha as a Conservation Area.
The need for stronger presence of the department in monitoring and enforcement of forests and nature conservation regulations in the area is critical for continued efforts to preserve the pristine ecology of the area.
By signing the MoU the DoFPs agreed to expand its monitoring and enforcement reach by establishing an additional outpost at Ramaychen, Phobji Gewog and staffing and equipping the outpost with two forester staff.
The forest outpost was constructed under RSPN’s project titled ‘Sustainable Natural Resource Management’ in Phobjikha Landscape Conservation funded by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation based in USA.
The outpost is constructed on a piece of land measuring 25 decimals registered in the name of DoFPS, located at Ramaychen, Phobji Gewog. The facility includes: Office space with 2 office rooms, 1 waiting room (hall way) and 1 large wash room (toilet) and Residence space with 2 bed rooms, 1 living room, 1 kitchen, 1 toilet, 1 hallway and open verandah.
The ceremony was attended by RSPN officials, DoFPs officials from Phobjikha and Territorial Forest Division, Wangduephodrang, Local Government Officials of Gangtey and Phobji gewogs, Phobjikha Environment Management Committee members and the local community. The Outpost has been built at the cost of Nu. 2.5 million.
Reported by Tshering Phuntsho