Communities show staunch support for tiger conservation
An adorable, masked tiger walking around playfully among children and enthusiastic elders of the community in Norbuling set the tone for the Global Tiger Day celebration on the 29th of July. As joyful and funny as it seemed, it was a perfect embodiment of people living in harmony with nature.
Around 300 people from the local community, school, government officials from the Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) and their counterparts from India gathered to pledge their support to tiger conservation in one of the prime tiger habitats in Bhutan.
It was even more inspiring to see villagers extending their heart-felt support by donating funds (from their hard earned income) for the schools nature club.
Highlighting the important role of the community in conserving tigers, Chencho Norbu, the Director General of DoFPS said, “We cannot fulfill our goal of doubling the number of tigers without the much-needed community support and it is encouraging to see so many members of the community here pledging their support.”
He added that while there are increasing instances of human-tiger conflict in some areas in the country it is crucial for people to see through these problems to ensure a better future for generations to come.”
Officials also acknowledged that people in the border areas were indulging in poaching because they have no other sources of livelihood and that, “There is a need to help them find alternative sources of income to reduce their dependence on such activities.”
The event also saw school children participating in art competitions and skits of Tiger conservation. This, officials said was important as students would be of great help in sensitizing their families.
The event was jointly organized by DoFPS, World Wildlife Fund Bhutan Program, Wildlife Trust of India and Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation.