Sunday, 7 August 2016

Conservation Journey Part I: Life with the Pen in JSWNP.

I started Blogging towards the end of 2010 and it’s my 5th year into blog-sphere. 2011 recorded 106 blog posts marking the highest and in the subsequent years, it decreased drastically. With a university degree in hand, I began my journey into conservation in January 2013 and hardly have I posted anything on the blog. I traveled a lot but least was recorded in my blog. As now take a break from work, I would like to share some of the highlights from my three and half years of working at Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.



My new journey into works began with the fall of crystalline flakes and as I moved further it only glittered more. However, at one point of time, I wasn’t sure whether I was in the right place. In three years, literarily I had to work with three Chiefs and constantly changing your boss is never a sign of healthy working. In my second year, my first boss went on EOL and I was left with a shaky position without any terms of responsibility. Under the Officiating Chief that last for over 8 months, my position was too versatile, conducting field works to attending important meetings and workshops. In my third year, we had our full-fledged Chief after whose joining my work mainly concentrated with WWF project management. My fourth year into service has opened a new door for my academic journey. As such, I thrived under versatility of Chiefs. At times, I faced the deadliest symptoms of career burnouts but I could also embrace some of the best opportunities be it travelling outside or field expeditions. The combination of the two only made my stand bolder and stronger with good accumulation of experiences.

Since blogging is about writing, I would like to share in this part, three writing achievements from my past three and half years of working in JSWNP.  Being the lone Forestry Officer under the chief, lots of paper work has befallen unto me, checking the competency and aptness in me. Yes, I wrote a lot while in JSWNP, from the guiding documents to project proposals, tour diaries to field reports, minutes of meetings to news reports and of course the contribution to mega publications for the department.

  1. Conservation Management Plan for JSWNP (January 2014-December 2018): Park function under the guidance of Conservation Management Plans. It contains all the details about the park including the biological diversity, socio-economic aspects of the park residents, conservation threats, and of course the framework of activities to be conducted in the next five years. Framing of management plan therefore requires all the facts and coherent planning in line with country’s five year plan.  As such the management plans serves as guiding document for the park. The last conservation management plan for JSWNP has expired in 2007. The park management, however realizing the need to update the much awaited document, has secured fund to from WWF to conduct all the necessary field surveys. When I joined JSWNP, a draft copy in its initial stage was laying idle. My Chief handed over the draft to me and entrusted me to complete it. I felt that it was a herculean task especially considering my infancy in professional work. However, I worked on it with my best ability and sought all critical comments from senior professionals and donors alike and referred all relevant documents to produce the third Conservation Management Plan for JSWNP. In 2015, I worked on framing the Park Zoning for JSWNP, which supplements the management plan.
    Monpas performing folklore
  2. Monpas and Their Livelihood in JSWNP: In the last three and half years, I have been a part of many conservation expeditions and coordinated many field works. Field works are really tiresome and hectic but the end results keep us moving. Lots of works were done by our predecessors in the park but least was documented. I felt the need to document and publish what we do so that it would serve as baseline or works won’t be repeated in the future. I have been part of publishing 8 field reports but a report on “Monpas and their Livelihoods in JSWNP” was something which I accomplished with a will. The idea of studying “Monpas and their Livelihoods in JSWNP” struck me in 2013 when I learnt that the 14th Congress of the International Society Ethnobiology (ISE) was to be held in UWICE, Bumthang in June 2014. I had then applied for a presentation on the topic and submitted an abstract to the Board of the Congress, which they selected. In preparing for it, I could document the history, myths and current scenario of the Monpas in JSWNP, which I proudly presented during the conference.
    The DoFPS Publication
  3. Protected Areas of Bhutan: The Department of Forests & Park Services despite being one of the oldest departments didn’t have a publication about it on its own. Under the dynamic leadership of the former Director General, DoFPS have however published two books, i) “Glimpses of Bhutan’s Forest Biodiversity” in 2013 and ii) “Protected Areas of Bhutan” in 2015. The former attempts to capture the rich biodiversity of Bhutan’s forest resources through the lenses of the Bhutanese foresters while the later provides an overview of the protected areas in Bhutan. The later contain a chapter each on all the Protected Areas and the Biological Corridors in Bhutan’s and I had the privilege to write the Chapter for Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. As the book was dedicated to Fourth Druk Gyalpo King Jigme Singye Wangchuck on His Majesty’s 60th Birth Anniversary, I feel very privileged to be the part of publication team.

Therefore as I look back, though not much have been posted on my blog, it appears like I wrote quite something. Now that I have started putting up things on my blog, I would be writing on three best field expeditions, three travels outside, three best workshops and so on in my subsequent posts. I feel that being a student, we can write better. 

2 comments:

  1. The reasons I have been reading and following several bloggers from Bhutan are, your country is quite isolated from the world news and it has beautiful mountains, greens and lovely people. So please update your blogs often and you can just post many photos with less writing as the photos can do the talking sometimes. I understand that sometimes we have no mood and inspiration to start writing out everything in our mind. Thank you my friend.

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