Farmers of six gewogs in Trongsa, Bumthang & Zhemgang to get compensation for cattle depredation by tigers

Henceforth, cattle farmers in four gewogs of Trongsa and an identified gewog each in Bumthang and Zhemgang will be compensated for their cattle depredation by the tigers. Coinciding with the Global Tiger Day today, the Bhutan Tiger Centre under the agriculture ministry launched a Gewog Tiger Conservation Tshogpa each in six gewogs of these three districts on a pilot basis.

The six gewogs are Nubi, Korphu, Langthil and Tangsibji in Trongsa, Chhumey in Bumthang and Nangkor in Zhemgang.

They have been selected based on the rampant incidents of tiger predation on cattle. The agriculture ministry handed over seed money of Nu 1 M each to the six Gewog Tiger Conservation Tshogpas.

“The budget is not adequate for the project. However, it is crucial to kick-start now. So, we are providing some seed money to help local government representatives and people themselves to come up with further steps and mitigate the human-tiger conflicts,” remarked the Agriculture Minister, Yeshey Penjor, who was present at the launch event.

Chaired by the respective Gups, the tshogpas will compensate farmers who have lost their cattle to tigers. For this, farmers will have to ensure their cattle with the association.

Also, to apply for the compensation fund, farmers are required to follow the standard reporting system through a mobile App.

However, as of now, 50 per cent of the seed money will be compensated to the affected farmers. The remaining fund will be saved for the sustainability of the association.

“If we keep on paying the compensation, no matter what kind of resources we have, it is not going to be sustainable. So, thinking that this human-tiger conflict cannot be solved overnight, we started looking for a long-term solution wherein both humans and tigers aren’t compromised,” said Tshering Tempa (PhD), who is the head of Bhutan Tiger Centre, based in Gelegphu.

Forestry officials in Bumthang said such monetary compensation was planned for 2019. But due to the pandemic, it was materialised today only.

In Trongsa, Nubi Gewog sees quite a high number of cattle being killed by the tigers. Therefore, the local leaders regard this as a respite for the farmers. Sometimes, about five cattle in the gewog are said to be attacked by the tigers in a month.

“With the bylaws in place, we are assured about the compensation. Earlier, we were not sure if the farmers could receive monetary reimbursement like this. Now through a tshogpa, farmers will become registered members. So, they will know about the cattle compensation and the importance of tiger conservation too,” said Nubi Gewog’s Mangmi, Kelzang Jurmey.

The recent camera trappings by the Bhutan Tiger Centre show that about 23 tigers dwell in the territory of Trongsa and Zhemgang.

Passang, Trongsa

Edited by Pema Lhaden

The post Farmers of six gewogs in Trongsa, Bumthang & Zhemgang to get compensation for cattle depredation by tigers appeared first on BBSCL.

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