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26 Jul 2018 | DFAT Brahmaputra

Bhutanese Foresters Trained in Spring Revival and Springshed Management

The Royal Government of Bhutan has identified spring revival and springshed management as a priority in its 12th Five Year Plan. It hopes to revive drying springs and improve knowledge on springs and springshed management. Spring revival activities are being undertaken by the Watershed Management Division (WMD) of Bhutan’s Department of Forest and Park Services.

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Participants collect hydrogeological data during the two-week training on spring revival and management

WMD is collaborating with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) to build capacity for reviving drying springs in Bhutan. ICIMOD has conducted a series of workshops, field visits, and trainings to share knowledge, skills, and understanding of springshed management to relevant field implementers.

From 2 to12 May 2018, ICIMOD organized a hands-on training in Kathmandu for 28 foresters from WMD on reviving springs and managing springsheds. Participants were introduced to the spring revival protocol, the role of geology in managing groundwater in the mountains, and the tools and techniques needed to assess springs in their respective study/action area. They were also taught how to set up a long-term data monitoring network.

The training focused on the importance of analyzing current water use and its implications on socio-economics. It highlighted the need for working closely with communities to benefit from their knowledge while planning spring revival work. It taught participants how to identify and map recharge areas by understanding field-based hydrogeology. The training also covered various spring recharge methods and their suitability under different land use and land type conditions. Participants were taught how to design simple recharge structures and measure the impact of spring revival-related interventions on local communities. Different sites at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park in Godavari, Kathmandu, were identified for participants to carry out hydrogeological mapping exercises and demarcate recharge areas to implement recharge measures.

“We have been carrying out ad-hoc interventions that are not necessarily output-oriented. We need to streamline activities on watersheds, wetlands and springsheds as they are interlinked. Any intervention plan should consider all three as we understand from this training that they are not the same,” said Karma Choki, a forestry official from the Sarpang Territory Division, Bhutan.

The training was organized with resource persons from ICIMOD and the Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM). The research-cum-implementation and capacity building programme can be accessed here: http://lib.icimod.org/record/33903

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