IUCN Supports Youth Empowerment in Taxonomy: A Skill for Local Area Nature Guiding

The field taxonomists (plant, entomology, birds and mammals) from Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) is conducting 14 days (16th  - 29th  January 2018) field training aimed at empowering the literate youths from remote rural areas of Pemagatshel, Sarpang and Zhemgang Dzongkhags in biodiversity identification. 21 (6 girls & 15 boys) literate youths who have chosen to live in the villages have gathered in Tingtibe, Zhemgang. They come from Jigmechoeling Gewog (Sarpang), Norbugang Gewog (Pemagatshel) and Trong and Phangkhar Gewogs (Zhemgang). All this Gewogs fall within the conservation management jurisdiction of the Royal Manas National Park (RMNP).

In the training, the youths are being imparted and empowered with basic taxonomic theory in plant and wildlife identification skills.  They are being practically exposed to identification of plants, butterflies and moths, birds and mammals. In wildlife (birds and mammals), the literate youths are trained to identify species by direct observation, tracks and droppings, and use of acoustics. Daily expeditions are made to existing and potential areas for eco-tourism.  Emphasis is made to ensure, youths become very resourceful local nature guide in their respective villages. It is geared towards strengthening and alleviating rural livelihood and economic power.

This youth empowerment training for biodiversity identification, in the hope of developing resourceful local nature guides, is funded by the Regional Tiger Center through the support of the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN) for tiger conservation in RMNP – Bhutan.