Choki Wangmo

Bhutan Birdlife Society (BBS) members yesterday met and proposed to Thimphu Thromde officials on converting Babesa sewerage ponds into an ecological park instead of refilling them and creating a park. 

The society proposed that an ecology park that provides learning opportunities for young birders directly from the field would add more value in creating awareness among communities in habitat conservation. Birdwatching is gradually becoming a passion among many in urban areas.  

Thromde’s Environment Officer Shera Doelkar said that there were similar entities coming forward with ideas to create parks in the city but they should coordinate and come up with concrete plans. “Ideas of conservation alone wouldn’t help. There should be plans on park operation and maintenance and safety of the species.”

Sewerage ponds wouldn’t be enough but species needs like protection, feeding, and nesting should be considered as well, she said. 

She said that since numbers of different species were reported from the sewerage ponds in recent years, the thromde is yet to decide on the plan of refilling the ponds and building a park in the area. “The stakeholders should have a management and continuity plan in the future so that the facilities do not go waste.” 

The stench from the automated sewerage, according to her, would still be a problem. 

The thromde, however, is in the process of looking into such factors by consulting with different sectors within the office. 

BBS Chairman Hishey Tshering said that keeping the ponds intact for waterbirds would add value to the park with increasing numbers of bird watchers within the country. 

In recent days, there was reportedly an increased number of waterbird arrival in the sewerage ponds with a record of 13 species in three days. The area is home to 65 migratory bird species, according to BBS.