A training workshop on plant taxonomy and Bhutan Biodiversity Portal (BBP) (www.biodiversity.bt) was conducted for the officials of Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) at Thimphu on 9th February 2017. This training workshop aimed to brief the officials of JDNP on the plant identification techniques, herbarium techniques and awareness on the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal (BBP). This training workshop was targeted to the forestry officials of JDNP to continue collecting specimens for herbarium and strengthen the herbarium program at the park. Herbarium would be mostly focused on the collection alpine plant species and documenting the plant species diversity in the park. Basic knowledge and idea on plant identification techniques and herbarium specimen processing techniques were imparted to the officials of the park. Practical sessions were conducted on the herbarium processing and the participants also visited the National Herbarium to learn about the uniformity of labels and specimens’ arrangement techniques. Currently, National Herbarium uses Bentham and Hooker System of Classification.
Training workshop also focused on available books, literature and papers and BBP. Participants were made aware of the understudied biodiversity groups such as ferns, mosses, algae, etc. User interface of the BBP were briefed on the background and importance of BBP and further demonstration on BBP was conducted, which surprisingly many participants were interested to study and document various biodiversity groups such as birds, orchids, mammals, etc. The awareness program on BBP is a part of seminar series which is conducted throughout the country by prioritizing relevant and important institutions such as Department of Forests and Park Services, College of Natural Resources, Sherubtse College, Gaeddu College of Business Studies, Tourism industry and general public at large. BBP acts as an online biodiversity repository contributed by the biodiversity enthusiasts and citizen participations and it is also an online platform which is available to all interested national and international users.
With this kind of awareness programs, it is hoped that the interested foresters will be more aware, motivated and inspired to document Bhutan’s rich biodiversity and ultimately conservation activities. The workshop was organized by the National Biodiversity Centre, Serbithang and was attended by around 20 officials from JDNP. The workshop was supported by the National Biodiversity Centre.