Come Back to Home after 23 Years; Farewell article to Dzongkhag Forestry

Dzongkhag Forestry Sector was born 23 years after the nationalization of forest in Bhutan and lived for another 23 years making ease to put decentralized forestry activities into practice most particularly in upholding the sustainable and participatory forest management. The sector made a giant step in 1997 by launching the country’s first community forest in Mongar under the guidance of Social Forestry & Extension Division (SFED), and thereafter about 600 communities received their right to manage the forest. 

Fig: Farewell Speech by Dasho Dzongdag to Dzongkhag Forestry

Had there not been Dzongkhag Forestry Sector then it would be easier said than done to shift from traditional tree orientated system to the current practice of balanced tree conservation and sustainable usage. The Sector supported not only the community forest but also gave equal weightage to improve the health of State Reserve Forest (SRF) by planting forest crops, bioengineering the critical landslide prone zones, protecting the water sources and many more. In so doing the private individuals also received helping hand from the Sector to own woods in their unproductive private lands and thereby adding more trees to the state.

Fig: Sharing of Gifts during farewell party 

Now the parent organization has made a homecoming call by merging the Dzongkhag Forestry Sector and Divisional Forest Office into one. It would be a shock to the communities to see forestry officials working under one umbrella but nothing to be worried for they shall continue to receive technical supports and forestry services as before. However the concern is not on about going back home to work but with regard to the working infrastructures. For time being the field staffs may function from the RNR-Extension Centre but one day or the other they deserve to be under a good shelter of their own. So, we are hopeful that the Department may have made arrangements to build the needed infrastructures. With this, I wish my workmates to serve with loyalty to protect our nation’s green property and also delivery the services to the people as before. Goodbye to Dzongkhag Forestry Sector.
Fig: First Day at Divisional office, Joint meeting at Mongar



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