Sherab Lhamo

Paro—The participants at the three-day rangeland management workshop that concluded yesterday, identified a number of gaps in the current rangeland policies and practices, and proposed ways forward to improve them.

Recommending the need for rangeland projects that can help in sustainable management, the participants suggested the establishment of a dedicated central agency that will oversee and coordinate all the programmes related to rangeland management.

One of the gaps identified was the lack of incentives and accessibility in the Land Act 2007. This, the participants said, makes it difficult for people to secure land tenure and manage land conflicts. 

Rangeland supports livelihoods of 1,039 highland and 263 lowland households

“For this, there was a need for government funding to enhance capacity building,” a participant said. 

Another gap identified was the lack of silos in the Agriculture and Food Security Strategy 2023. Silos are used to store fermented feed known as silage, which can help to improve food security. The workshop proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock work to enhance coordination and collaboration with institutions and communities to address this gap.

Project coordinator with UNDP Bhutan, Mani Prasad Nirola, said that the rangeland offers huge potential. 

Yi Shaoliang, the intervention manager for ICIMOD, said that the government should develop a proper management plan for rangelands, and establish a benefit-sharing mechanism.

The Chairperson of Bhutan Yak Federation said that the three-day workshop was very informative, and got to learn to be collaborative and initiative with different stakeholders. 

A total of 34 participants from the related agencies attended the workshop. 

 Rangeland (tsamdro) covers 12 percent of the country’s total area, supporting the livelihoods of 1,039 highland and 263 lowland households.