The Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment is a Government based research and training institute. We strive to foster better stewardship of our natural heritage – land, water, air and species therein – through rigorous science based research and transmission of cutting-edge science results to field practitioners, environmental leaders and policy makers.

We concentrate our efforts on four major focus areas:

  • 1. Sustainable Forestry;
  • 2. Conservation Biology;
  • 3. Water Resources;
  • 4. Socio-Economics and Policy Sciences;

Our current focus areas are defined by needs and challenges within Bhutan and outside. We recognize interlinkages between the way forestry is practiced to the dynamics of species conservation and persistence. We understand the implications of landuse practices and global climate change on water resources and energy requirements. Above all, we appreciate and seek to understand human impacts and impacts on humans by studying social patterns and economic implications of management and policy interventions.

In addition to conducting research, we provide a one-year certificate course in environment, forestry and conservation. We also offer tailor made course within the field of conservation biology, sustainable forestry and water resources for professionals working in these fields. We also offer opportunities for undergraduate students to conduct research projects as part of their Honours program.

As part of our initiative to encourage discourses and dialogue within the environmental community, we regularly organize seminars and host conferences at both national and international level.

Administratively, we are currently housed under the Department of Forests and Park Services in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests

Our three tiered goals are to:

  • 1. Contribute to science and knowledge by conducting research and policy analyses in relevant problem areas (research);

  • 2. Mainstream scientific research findings into environmental policy and decision-making processes (publications and conferences);

  • 3. Train current and future generation of conservation and environmental leaders, practitioners and academics (training);

The Board of Governors of the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute of Conservation and Environment is chaired by His Excellency the Prime Minister of Bhutan.The following comprise the Board of the Institute:

Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Forests (Vice-Chairman)
Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests
Secretary, National Environment Commission
Vice Chancellor, Royal University of Bhutan
Head, Tourism Council of Bhutan
Dasho Dzongdhag, Bumthang Dzongkhag
Director, Department of Forests and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests
Director, Council of RNR Research, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests
Director, College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan
Director, Department of Geology and Mines, Ministry of Economic Affairs
Director, SAARC Forestry Center
Country Representative, WWF-Bhutan
Director, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Ministry of Health
Director, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation
Executive Director, Royal Society for the Protection of Nature
Head, Hydrometeorology, Ministry of Economic Affairs
Director, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (Member Secretary)

The Board provides strategic directives for the Institute and approves its research and education plans.

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