Choki Wangmo

Coinciding with the World Rangers’ Day, the forest department introduced the revised insignia system for every rank in the profession yesterday.

Themed: “In service of nation and environment”, about 20 senior forestry officials like the director, chief forestry officers, deputy chief forestry officer, and specialists were awarded the insignia or gosa by agriculture and forest minister Yeshey Penjore.

Based on their ranks, hereafter the forestry officials will wear the insignia, which features the elements of the national flower, Meconopsis gakyidiana, along with the logo of the department and the colour of the national flag worn as stripes.

It signifies the commitment of the department to conserve and protect the country’s environment with loyalty and dedication.

The forestry insignia system is pegged to the position classification system of the Royal Civil Service Commission.

The Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan mandates forestry personnel under the forest department to wear a standardised uniform for the purpose of carrying out their duties and maintain order and discipline within the department.

The forest uniforms are of two types—office uniform and combat uniform—according to the forestry uniform code, 2019.

The international day is observed to commemorate rangers who have lost their lives or were injured in the line of duty and also to celebrate the works of rangers at the forefront of conservation.

Lyonpo applauded the rangers for their excellent service to the nation and protecting the forest. There are about 300 foresters at the frontline of Covid-19 duty along the borders.

During the celebration, the software for Bhutan METT (Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool) plus along with some other important publications such as the forestry uniform code, REDD+ Strategy, protected area zonation guidelines of Bhutan, guidelines for classifying and managing key biodiversity areas and biodiversity monitoring protocol were also launched.

The day was observed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund Bhutan, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation, Bhutan Foundation, Royal Society for Protection of Nature, and Bhutan for Life. This year marks four years since Bhutan joined the Ranger Federation of Asia.

Globally, about 150 rangers lose their lives in the line of duty each year protecting wildlife and national parks.