A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Thimphu Thromde and Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF) to adopt Thimphu Eco Park yesterday to protect and learn about wetland.

The 10.77-acre park is located below Changangkha Lhakhang.

The park was inaugurated in 2016 with financial support from Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation (BTFEC) and technical and supervisory support from Thimphu Thromde.

The MoU will expire on January 8, 2021.

Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that the thromde chose to partner with YDF as the park was close to YDF and youth groups could utilise the space.

The management plan of the park looks at two approaches – usefulness of the park for conservation of the wetland and the species prevalent inside it for education, recreation and health of the community, and sustainability aimed at keeping the park well maintained and usable.

The park has a large stretch of wetland harbouring diverse species of flora and fauna. So far, officials have identified 130 plant species. The park has 61 percent herbaceous plant and 21 percent shrubs. The park also houses the endangered bird species, wood snipe.

For nature education, the park has a visitor centre, eco-trail, and a theatre for educational programmes.

Executive director of YDF, Dorji Ohm, said that people would have to pay a fee to utilise the park. “We would have income generation that could help educational endeavours.”

She added that the park would help educate youth about wetland.

“We have to empower youth so that they can empower others,” she said.

Karma Cheki