Chhimi Dema 

Bhutan observed World Ranger’s Day in Thimphu yesterday to honour those who lost their lives in the line of duty and those who continue to serve.

Across the country, the forest division offices held events to acknowledge the efforts of rangers who are the guardians of the environment.

Rangers continue to face many challenges in their line of duty. Among many threats and challenges that rangers face in the field, confrontations with wild animals and poacher attacks are the most common challenges facing Bhutanese rangers.

A senior forestry officer, Letro, said that rangers in the field face various life-threatening challenges. “Nevertheless, for the people and the country, we are in the fields giving our best to safeguard our pristine environment and hoping we can gift it to our future generations.” 

World Ranger’s Day in the country was first celebrated on July 31, 2017.

Deputy chief forestry officer, Namgay Bidha, said that the day is observed to acknowledge the contribution of the rangers who are currently serving to protect nature and the environment.

“This year’s celebration marks the sixth year Bhutan is celebrating her rangers along with the international community of rangers,” she said.

This year’s ranger day in the country was observed with the launch of the online forestry service, nine forestry-related books,  and a showcase of documentaries and animations.    

Online forestry system 

Department of forests and park services’ chief, Kinley Tshering, said that previously people had to visit the range offices for forestry services which they can now avail it online.

“The online system will drastically cut down the turn-around time for these services,” he added.

Six forestry services such as fishing permit and license application, forestry clearance, research clearance, permit for non-wood forest products (NWFP) collection, and approval for import and export of NWFP or timber is available online.

The users can make payments for the services through the Royal Monetary Authority’s payment gateway.

The celebration saw the launch of books such as Forest-type map of Bhutan, Golden Mahseer Conservation Action Plan, National Interpretation for the Identification of High Conservation Values in Bhutan, and Traditional Practice of Ngeshing Jorma Tea Making in Bhutan, among others.