Caretaker wins conservation award

ap_phurba_01Sixty-five-year-old Phurba Wangdi has spent more than half his life conserving the endangered black-necked cranes when they migrate to Bumdeling valley in Trashiyangtse every winter.

That commitment was recognised at a workshop on regional cooperation for black necked cranes held in New Delhi, India, on April 22 -23. India’s minister of environment and forests, Mr Jairam  Ramesh presented Phurpa Wangdi the first regional crane conservation award for his 35 years of selfless commitment towards conserving the black necked cranes.

“Endangered bird species like the black-necked Crane, deserve special attention,” Phurba Wangdi said at the inaugural of the workshop. “This is not only because of their significance in the larger order of nature, but for the immense opportunities for regional and international cooperation that they bring in their fold. These migratory birds recognise no boundaries, hence it becomes all the more crucial to safeguard their shared habitats for the well being of the species and the ecosystem.”
“I’d like to share this honour with my village community, park staff, and conservation organisations working in the area. Without their assistance and support I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I’ve in the last three decades,” he added.

The workshop was initiated also to celebrate the World Earth Day. It aimed to facilitate knowledge-
sharing and information exchange among conservation experts on the black necked crane, to foster international cooperation among India, China and Bhutan, and to explore the opportunities of  community exchange programmes between these countries.

Black necked cranes are listed as vulnerable in IUCN’s red list of threatened species.

The workshop also saw presentations and collective discussions on the status, threats and conservation efforts made by each party and potential strategies to safeguard migratory birds during their breeding and nesting seasons. Individual concerns and conservation plans of each participanting country were also discussed.
The advisor to national environment commission of Bhutan, Dasho Paljor Dorji and representatives  from Bumdeling wildlife sanctuary attended the workshop that also had NGOs working on  conservation issues like Birdlife international & Wetlands international, environmentalists and bird experts from India, Bhutan and China participating.
The workshop was organised by WWF Bhutan, in collaboration with WWF India, ministry of environment & forests, government of India, Bombay natural history society (BNHS) and Indian bird conservation network (IBCN).


Source: Kuensel Newspaper