English | Dzongkha Monday, July 13, 2020

2 National Parks received CA|TS accreditation

Dec 3, 2019

Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and the Royal Manas National Park received certificates of the International Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS) accreditation at the three-day CA|TS Council Meeting which began from today in Thimphu.

The two parks have fulfilled all standards for tiger habitats.

The parks were accredited after fulfilling all seven pillars and seventeen indicators of CA|TS accreditation. The CA|TS is an international certification system for tiger habitats.

Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and the Royal Manas National Park have an area size of over 1,700 and 1,500 square kilometres respectively with an estimate of 46 tigers. According to the 2015 National Tiger Survey, Bhutan has an estimate of 103 tigers. An estimated 3,900 tigers remain in the world today.

CA|TS National Committee was formed in 2017 in the country.

“Globally, there are just six sites that are being approved. We are proud to say that as a small nation, we have managed to get two of our national parks as CA|TS accredited sites. So, we are joining the global efforts in terms of doubling the tiger numbers by meeting the international standards,” said Sonam Wangdi, the Chief for Nature Conservation Division at the Department of Forest and Park Services under the Agriculture and Forests Ministry.

The management and protection measures, community engagement in resolving human-tiger conflicts and adaptive management in terms of sites, species and community living in and around the sites are taken into account while assessing the sites.

“People generally tend to look after the certification and ask how we will benefit financially. So, it is not just a financial benefit but we are benefiting in terms of doing what we are doing. We get to improve the management of these areas, we get to know where we are lacking, what are the threats that are being posed to that particular sites and how do we manage that in order to overcome the threats,” he added.

Bhutan registered for three national parks. But Jigme Dorji National Park could not meet some assessment criteria for the accreditation this time.

Considering the importance of areas outside the protected area, Bhutan works towards implementing CA|TS in three Territorial Forest Divisions in Paro, Sarpang and Zhemgang.

Pema Tshewang

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