A small but important milestone in the conservation of Bhutan’s freshwater biodiversity as this is the first of its kind and new initiative to equip Bhutan’s Forestry Cadre with the river rafting skills for efficient monitoring of river health, freshwater biodiversity and riverine resources in the country.
With the kick-off on 16 May 2021 graced by the Director of Forest, 20 rangers are undergoing month-long training and will be the first batch of River Rangers in Bhutan dedicated to the safeguarding of Bhutan’s free-flowing rivers, freshwater biodiversity and riverine resources. The Rangers are from both National Parks and Divisions outside National Parks (Living Landscapes). This is a partnership between the Department of Forest and Park Services under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest, Royal Government of Bhutan and WWF with the full ownership of the Forest Department.
We hope to be able to support the upscaling of this programme to whole of Bhutan and to build the capacity of Rangers to be passionate river stewards and guardians. This will go a long way in protecting Bhutan’s river ecosystems and species from threats like illegal fishing, water pollution, and unsustainable extraction of riverine resources as well as for river health and freshwater biodiversity monitoring.