Restoring beliefs, conserving wetlands | WWF

Restoring beliefs, conserving wetlands

Posted on
02 February 2013

This year, Bhutan celebrated its second world wetland day with a renewed spirit with two of its wetlands now declared wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar convention.
Organized in Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS), (one of the two Ramsar sites) by the Department of Forest and Park Services with support from WWF, the event was marked by restoring the Dungkar Tsho (lake), a sacred lake for the local community.
The local community believes that Dungkar Tsho belongs to a local deity and that the well being of the community depends on it. The restoration of the lake has not only helped preserve the sacred site but also further strengthened the community’s commitment to conserve the area.
Tshewang Rinzin, one of the community leaders in Bumdeling said, “We wanted to restore the lake with the five year plan budget but it was not feasible as there were other activities that had to be covered within the plan period.”
He added that now restoring the lake has helped preserve a generation old belief in the community.
Acknowledging WWF’s support in restoring the lake, Pankey Dukpa, the Chief Forestry Officer of BWS said that such initiatives held park officials work better with the community.
On the other hand, park officials also say the lake is a roosting ground for migratory wild ducks such as the Mallard and Ruddyshell.
Trashiyangtse Dzongrab, Sonam Wangdi, who presided over the celebration, said that compared to some other dzongkhags in the country, Bumdeling has a wealth of water resources which need to be taken care of for future generations.
“We, as a community taking care of one of the most important ecosystems in the country must be proud”, he said.