As 2016 came to an end, we saw a new beginning when it comes to combating waste in Bhutan. The Royal Government of Bhutan took a bold decision to implement the Waste Prevention and Management Act of Bhutan, which was lying idly since its adoption in August 2009. The act has a strong purpose to protect and sustain human health through protection of the environment by:
a) reducing the generation of waste at source;
b) promoting the segregation, reuse and recycling of wastes
c) disposal of waste in an environmentally sound manner; and
d) effective functioning and coordination among implementing agencies.
But its better late then never or better safe then sorry. Inspired by the speech made by His Majesty the king where he stressed on the need to keep the places and environment of where we live clean and green, His Excellency the Prime Minister made a remarkable move to have a mass cleaning on 9th December 2017, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the ascension of His Majesty to Golden Throne. It was a beautiful gesture to pay back to His Majesty's glorious reign thus far, a contribution put in by every citizens.
And came the executive orders to implement the Waste Prevention and Management Regulations 2012, which was never implemented effectively. The regulation besides establishing procedures for prevention and management of wastes, also have identified implementing agencies for the purpose of establishing a sound waste management system. It also have important provisions on fines and penalties for those who dump waste irresponsibly. Department of Forests and Park Services becomes one of the implementing agencies and therefore, Bhutanese Foresters has a duty to monitor and enforce the regulations, for the betterment of our surrounding environments.
Foresters are associated with fining because, taking advantage of our rich natural resources, our people often harvest the resources illegally and when caught, we have no alternative but to fine them as per the law. Now, waste is everywhere; beside the roads, on the mountains, in the forests, in the rivers, many of which are part of Government Reserved Forests and it becomes the duty of the Foresters to maintain it clean. And we have the additional booklet of receipt for fining the waste regulation defaulters. Therefore, I would like to share with the general public, the nature of fine for various acts of breaching the waste management regulations, as reflected in Annexure VII of the Regulation;
However, we as the citizen of the country, have the sacred responsibility to keep our country clean by dumping the wastes responsively, following the provisions of our Act and Regulations. This way, we Bhutanese Foresters wont need to impose fine on you and we as citizens can always reap the benefits of our serene environments.
Together we can keep our country clean and green.
(For a copy of Waste Prevention and Management Regulations 2012, please Download Here.)