Saturday, 6 January 2018

A Promising Journey for 2018

The 2018 has kicked off and a week has already passed by. And if a new year resolution was set, it should be clear by now, whether we are in the right direction in achieving the goals of the year. I don't have resolutions as such for 2018 but as I look forward into 2018, there are lots I have to accomplish and it will definitely keep me busy most of the time. It is a peaceful beginning for 2018 for me and as I take up the further journey, I look forward a peaceful ride, but of course with challenges that will alter me into better form. 

As u set into wilderness, appease the deities.
(Towards Black Mountains in 2015)

This is my third semester of my M.Sc programme and I am quite relieved to have completed majority of the electives in the first two semesters. This leaves me with more time for completing a basic module and planning for my final semester, that is exclusively for Master Thesis Works. So basically I don't have to prepare for exams this semester but have to present my Research Internship Protocol, which is in line to my Master Thesis Works. I aspire to complete the presentation by end of this month or early February and leave some free time for myself to aptly plan my field work. 

Being Landscape Ecology student, I wanted to do my thesis research on a title encompassing landscape conservation and I am glad to be doing on a title "Assessing structural connectivity of Biological Corridor for tiger movement between National Parks in Bhutan." With support from my mentors and professional guardians at home and my supervisor here in the University, I am glad to have secured the Early Career Grant from National Geographic Society, which puts me in a safer side without having to worry about research funding. But more than the fund, I am glad to be amongst the few NatGeo Explorers from Bhutan. Being DAAD scholar, I am also glad to have my proposal and travel plans accepted by DAAD and got the travel grant approved well in advance. I am already set to fly back to Bhutan by Mid march for the following three months. 

So, I see a switch in my travelling this year unlike in 2017 where I traveled extensively in Europe during my free times. 2018 will pull me back to wilderness and I am already excited, firstly because I have been away from home for over one and a half year and secondly, I am quite excited with my field work to have some interesting findings. Unlike my solo trips of 2017, my trips into wilderness for 2018 will require the support from various offices of the Department of Forests and Park Services, and I am being optimistic that right field colleagues would be in my wild expeditions to gather some good data for writing my thesis, and of course contributing little efforts towards conservation in Bhutan. 

Each year, I have been trying to attend one international conference for all the benefits that it gives. The Global Landscape Forum 2017 at Bonn was a gratifying experience and for 2018, I am trying to attend the 10th World Dendro Conference in Thimphu. I have already planned such that I can attend in full and then return back to Germany and I really look forward it after tiring field days. 

That will leave me with limited time to complete the requirements of my Master Thesis as I plan to graduate by Mid September and safely land back home to rejoin my service at JSWNP. Hush! that's going to be a fast race but I will be glad because I would have achieved the Master of Science from University of Greifswald. And I hope that JSWNP welcomes me back in good spirit so that I can contribute to the great works that my colleagues are already doing, and may be add some extra impetus. But definitely, the future is going to be an opportunity. 

Well, 2018 is yet again going to be a remarkable year for Bhutan. We are progressing into the Third Parliamentary Elections and Bhutan will definitely have more talks on politics than ever. I am glad that I would be able to vote in person this time for both National Council and National Assembly elections and that in itself is a great responsibility for me. We would be probably having our NC elections in April and NA elections in September-October. This years NA elections seems to become more competitive based on the current flow of news on social media but I should be mindful in voting for a party that will best benefit the country with innovative current developments and long-term sustainable policies. My conscience should be able to judge the parties well and should vote intelligently. As a civil servant, we should remain apolitical but I feel civil servants should also raise their voices with regards to party politics for the betterment of the nation because Civil Service is the biggest pool with educated lots who, if not swayed by corrupt practices can think better for the country. Any way, who ever wins, I would be striving my efforts towards conservation until next election and further, as deemed necessary by the bound with RCSC. But any way conservation of nature is something every human should contribute in this anthropocentric era. It is a collective responsibility. 

So 2018 looks promising and all I need now is to sail with the tide. 

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