The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) president Lily Wangchhuk met with the people of Trongsa and Bumthang last Thursday as part of her campaign program.
In Trongsa, she talked about the problem of human-wildlife conflict that was inflicting lot of suffering on rural farming communities. She told party supporters, members, and well-wishers that wildlife predation is a great cause of worry, since it hits the hardest where it hurts the most.
“Our farmers toil hard, day in and out, through out the year, only to find out that their crops are destroyed by wild animals,” she said. “Such incessant predation is a result of a chronic disconnect between our policies and the ground reality.”
DCT president Lily Wangchhuk in an e-mailed update of her campaign program said, while environmental conservation is an integral part of our development philosophy, there is also a need to ensure that communities are not affected by such policies.
Wildlife predation has discouraged farmers from farming activities, contributed to rural poverty, affected food self-sufficiency, and forced many people to leave their farms fallow, and migrate to urban towns, seeking an alternate source of livelihood, she said.
“DCT will make concerted efforts to solve human-wildlife conflict. We will ensure that our farmers are not troubled by wild animals and that they can sleep peacefully after a day’s hard work,” she said.
The DCT president further explained that Chirwang Tshogpa would consult with the people to collaboratively find solutions to the problem of wildlife encroachment and explore new technologies that can be used to ward off wild animals from invading the farms.
“In addition, in an event where people lose crops and domestic animals to wildlife, we will put in place a system that offers swift compensation for the loss,” she said.
Chirwang’s president also talked about how her party will promote rural prosperity and wellbeing, and bridge the socio-economic gaps between regions and people. “Our party will come up with a Gewog Economic Plan for each gewog and start economic activities that will generate jobs and income for the people,” she said.
After her campaign in Trongsa, she wasted no time to travel to Bumthang, another three-hour drive from the central district, where party workers, members and supporters welcomed her.
In Bumthang DCT president Lily Wangchhuk talked about her party’s pledges to review and revise the mining policy, and equitably distribute the benefits of mining to all levels of Bhutanese society.
“Natural resources belong to the people of Bhutan, and a few cannot exploit it to amass wealth while the rest suffer,” she said. “Our party will encourage people to engage in ethical and environment friendly mining, and encourage public-private partnership in mining sector,” she added. “We can truly progress when all of us become more prosperous and have the vital opportunities to pursue our dreams and aspirations. Our party will ensure that each one of you have the opportunities and conditions to live happier lives,” she said.