Media Release – International Biodiversity Day Tuesday 22 May 2018

Monday, May 21st, 2018

The National Biodiversity Centre in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund, UNDP Bhutan, National Environment Commission and Royal Society for Protection of Nature is organizing a celebration for International Biodiversity Day on May 22, 2018.

The theme for this year is “Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity” to mark the 25th anniversary of the International Convention on Biological Diversity and to highlight progress made in the achievement of its objectives at the national and global levels.

Biodiversity Day is a United Nations–sanctioned international day to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

The day will be celebrated with 180 students from high schools in Thimphu and Royal Thimphu College at the Centenary Youth Village Auditorium, Youth Center Division, Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education, Thimphu. The day will be divided into three segments:

  1. BioBlitz

Students will be divided into groups to conduct biological surveys in the Thimphu Ecological Park led by science experts. This is a scientific project and can be categorized under citizen science. During the event, students will also be asked to take photographs of plants and animals and upload them to the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal (www.biodiversity.bt )

  1. 2. Base Camp

A central hub consisting of activity stations and displays which the students can visit to learn about Bhutan’s biodiversity. Students will receive a card which will get stamped every time they complete an activity as follows:

  1. Make your own herbarium – display with posters, herbarium specimens, microscopes with plant tissue, interactive display of invasive plants and flowers, opportunity for students to professionally mount a herbarium specimen.
  2. Come walk with a snow leopard – interactive virtual reality display sponsored by WWF.
  3. Contribute to science – Submit your biodiversity observation to the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal
  4. Biodiversity quiz challenge
  5. Wishing tree – make your wish for biodiversity conservation for the next 25 years.
  6. Selfie booth – Click, hashtag and win!

When the card has been completed they will receive an International Biodiversity Day gift.

  1. Official Program

The official program will be 1.5 hours long. The special advisor to the National Environment Commission, Dasho Paljor J. Dorji will be the Guest of honor. The official program is divided into three segments to represent past, current and future actions on Biodiversity. To represent the past actions on biodiversity, Dasho Paljor J. Dorji will give his personal reflections on the last 25 years of biodiversity action and Deputy Resident Representative UNDP, Thimphu, Mrs. Mrs. Niamh C. Smith will present UNDP’s perspective on “50 years of Partnership in Development and Conservation” while NEC will distribute its publication, “25 Years of Environmental Achievement”. The current actions on biodiversity will be presented by a number of engaging experts who will speak about their research in various field of biodiversity. Student speakers from the Royal Thimphu College will present youth perspectives on environmental and biodiversity conservation.  The National Biodiversity Centre will also launch some new publications namely,

  1. Alpine Plants of Bhutan Himalaya,
  2. Access and Benefit Sharing Toolkit for the Management of Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge in Bhutan,
  3. A Pictorial Guide to Major Invasive Plant Species of Bhutan, and
  4. National Biodiversity Centre Vision 2030.

Further enquiries

Mrs. Sangay Dema, Principal Biodiversity Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests

sangaydema@moaf.gov.bt

Mobile: 177 108 81

Mrs. Danielle Northey, Australian Volunteer, National Biodiversity Centre

daniellenorthey2017@gmail.com

Mobile: 175 884 21