Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995 needs amendment, Agriculture Minister

The remote village of Jangbi in Langthil Gewog of Trongsa is still reeling from the recent leopard attack on two men inside a house. Although such an attack is reported for the first time in the village, the threat was always there as the village falls under protected areas. However, the Agriculture and Forests Minister said the Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995 will be tabled for amendment in the upcoming winter session of the National Assembly to address these problems. 

The small community of Monpa in Jangbi falls under the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. As a protected area, the rampant human-wildlife conflict weighs heavy limiting the growth of the village. Sharing the concerns of the residents, Agriculture and Forests Minister Yeshey Penjor said amending the Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995 is timely. The Minister visited the village last Friday.

“It is now time to amend the provisions and clauses concerning the compensations and whether to prohibit or allow to kill wild animals that attack crops and humans,” said Lyonpo.

According to a resident, it is common for wildlife to attack on crops and livestock in Jangbi. He, however, said there has not been any instances where wildlife intrude in a house and attack the residents. Citing the recent leopard attack, he said they are now worried that they might lose their lives if such attacks continue.

Meanwhile, the Leopard that attacked two men on the night of September 8 is still on the loose. Sources say the victims are recovering from the injuries.

“Forest officials are continuously patrolling here for the leopard. However after the forest officials were deployed here, the leopard did not reappear. We are planning to entrap, tranquillize and release it far away from human settlements,” Lyonpo added.

While the foresters patrolling in the village has given immediate relief to the residents, for now, they are banking on the amendment of the Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995 to address the human-wildlife conflict in their village once and for all.

Passang, Trongsa

Edited by Sonam

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