Reducing Forest Fire through Volunteerism to enhance forest fire volunteer program to protect the national resources of the country by creating a sense of volunteerism in Bhutanese people.
Reducing Forest Fire through Volunteerism to enhance forest fire volunteer program to protect the national resources of the country by creating a sense of volunteerism in Bhutanese people.
Forest fires not only remove huge areas of forest but it also adversely affects the livelihoods of the people by exposing the land making it more vulnerable to erosion, depositing soil and organic matter into the downstream affecting the river catchments. The sustainable use of forest resources is also hampered when a lot of resources are lost to forest fires.

The fire volunteers visited one community residing adjacent to the forest area to impart message to the school children and to train the orchard caretakers on how to safely burn the debris. The forest fire volunteers also participated in the prescribed burning training in Dozam.

The Dept. of Forests (DoF), and the Forest Fire Management Program, Forest Protection and Utilization Division in particular have federal responsibility in forest fire management, particularly involving fire prevention, suppression and re-construction in all the forest fire prone districts. It is of the interest of the department that a strongly favourable public opinion is a vital necessity in any effort to reduce the number of people-caused fires.

Recognizing the seriousness of threat to forest from fires, the department took several steps in responding to fire outbreaks. Further the constitution of Bhutan has made it mandatory to maintain atleast 60% of the country under forest covers for all times to come. During forest fires, help from the Armed Forces and District Administration is also sought. However, there has been only limited success. Considering these threats, the department felt necewssary to explore new options such as recruiting "forest fire volunteers" who would respond immediately to any forest fire incidences and play a very important role in all aspects of fire management.

Progress Report:
Disseminating Fire Prevention Messages - The Forest Fire Voluntary Groups has been using the media to spread awareness messages in Bhutan Broadcasting Services, the National News Papers, radio jingles etc.

On the UN Volunteers Day organized by UNV/UNDP, the FFVG along with the Dept. of Forests set up an exhibition stall and made use of the platform for distributing forest fire prevention posters, pamphlets, CDs and DVDs on fire prevention and demonstrated forest fire fighting tools, that attracted more than 500 school students, local communities and business communities.

The FFVG also took up Plantation Program and learnt about the locality of green species, and gained knowledge in planting trees in trying to increase the greenery in Tsalumarphay and Genekha.

After the project support, the FFVG members has increased from 55 volunteers to 165 to date.

For safety and identification purposes, fire protection tools and gears have been purchased and distributed to the registered Fire Volunteers.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Forest Fire Voluntary Groups
Country:
Bhutan
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 41,535.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 29,029.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 75,000.00
Project Number:
BHU/SGP/OP4/Y2/CORE/09/10
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
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Partnership

Dept. of Forest

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Tenzin Wangchuk
Phone:
009752322424
Email:
Mr. Tshering Phuntsho
Phone:
009752322424 (ext:330)
Email:

Address

UN House, Peling Lam (Street), Kawajangsa, Thimphu, P.O. Box No. 162
Thimphu, Bhutan, 11001