Jigmi Wangdi

In recognition of their major success in protecting tigers, other threatened species, and their habitats, the Sarpang Divisional Forest Office won the International Ranger Award yesterday.

The biological corridor three (BC3) ranger team were among the nine winners of the award this year. 

The award recognised the rangers who worked in remote and often dangerous territory, demonstrating a lasting and deep commitment to their work, taking pride in serving the community, and conserving the natural environment. 

The team contributed immensely towards minimising wildlife poaching, preventing illegal trade of wildlife products and mitigating human-wildlife conflict in the region, while also conducting exemplary monitoring and community education work.

The biological corridor three ranger team

The award ceremony was conducted virtually by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). 

The awards were created in 2020 with the aim to highlight and felicitate the extraordinary work that rangers do in protected and conserved areas worldwide.

It intends to improve rangers’ capabilities, raise awareness about the critical role they play in conservation efforts, and help share rangers’ unique stories and perspectives.

The prize money ranges between USD 10,000 to 25,000. The Chief Forestry Officer of the division Phub Dhendup said that the award money would be used as a seed fund for the welfare scheme within the division. 

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Loknath Sharma, said that rangers are the unsung heroes of conservation, working tirelessly to safeguard the diversity of life and preserve the beauty of nature. 

“It is our responsibility to raise the profile of rangers as professionals and an advocate for their recognition at the world stage,” Lyonpo said. 

Recognising the importance of rangers, the Department of Forests and Park Services in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund Bhutan, endorsed the Global Ranger Code of Conduct with a total of 1,330—1,177 male and 165 female—rangers being trained on the conduct.

The International Ranger Award aims to recognise all types of rangers including indigenous, communities and volunteer rangers employed in protected and conserved areas.