Bhutan News

    RENEW now has clear-cut way to help their clients

    Posted 25 May 2018 | 11:10 am

    As the three-day training on ‘Consensus Building Programme’ ended on Wednesday, RENEW says it is now in a better position to help clients- who are facing various forms of domestic violence to access both formal and informal justice system.

    The Consensus Building Initiative is a type of alternative dispute resolution with regard to domestic violence before any form of violence.

    “We are not a mediator as we do not have license to draw an agreement. We are not paralegal and we are not judge or a lawyer. We do not have any legal backgrounds,” Dr. Meenakshi Rai, Director of Department of Community Outreach under RENEW.  “So the best option is Consensus Building initiative, where we can facilitate and inform people that there are two types of justice system, the formal and the informal justice system.”

    According to the volunteers of RENEW from various district, the victims of domestic violence preferred RENEW over complex judicial processes for negotiations.

    In the process of providing their service, RENEW had tough time dealing with such cases as most of the volunteers had limited knowledge on legal matters. Additionally, mediating cases involving domestic violence was considered as an offense.

    So, the training helped volunteers of RENEW to interact with the officials of RBP, Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law and the Bhutan National Legal Institute.

    “We have been dealing with several cases of domestic violence in our locality. Until this workshop, we were not aware of the certain boundaries. This training cleared our doubts,” said Pema Choki, Community Based Support System Volunteer.

    Henceforth, every domestic violence cases falling under misdemeanor and below will be forwarded to RENEW for consensus building. RENEW will then handle cases and help find a solution by giving them the access to relevant justice system.


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    EU-Bhutan project to boost Bhutan’s horticulture and textile handicrafts exports

    Posted 25 May 2018 | 11:08 am

    Bhutanese producers of horticulture and textile handicrafts would soon make their way to markets in Europe. This will be made possible by the newly launched EU-Bhutan Trade Support Project.

    The project, which will be implemented over a 40-month period, will help goods from Bhutan enjoy better competitiveness in foreign markets.

    The EU-Bhutan Trade Support Project is expected to boost Bhutanese exports by building trade and market linkages.

    The Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Arancha Gonzalez, who came for the launch of the project, said the project will focus on connecting horticulture and textile handicraft to markets other than India.

    “This will help grow exports of Bhutan and growth in exports means better paid jobs, which is what the Bhutanese government is looking for as it has around 5,000 young Bhutanese entering the job market every year,” she said.

    The launch of the project was attended by Ambassadors of the European Union, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, and Denmark.

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    Decreasing horse population pushes conservationists to chart out revival plans

    Posted 25 May 2018 | 11:05 am

    The number of horses in the country has been on a decreasing trend with more and more motor-able roads being built in the country over the years. Rearing horses for transportation is gradually becoming irrelevant in this day and age.

    Horses can now be seen strayed in the wild and in urban areas as well. So, what does the future hold for the horse owners in the country now?

    Except for few highland communities and for orange transportation in some places in the country, the tradition of rearing horses is slowly disappearing from the villages.

    Statistics with the National Horse Breeding Farm in Bumthang show that with 27, 887 horses in the country in 2004, the figure has dropped to about 18, 890 in 2016.

    People in Chhumig Gewog in Bumthang traditionally reared herd of horses to transport oranges in Gelephu during winter. But now, they don’t get much demand for horses from orange exporters.

    “All the orchards are connected through farm roads now. In the past, we used to get demands from the exporters to transport oranges and cardamom on horses to Gelegphu,” said Tshering Wangchuk, Horse Owner in Chhumig.

    The National Horse Breeding Farm is now working towards transforming the usage of horses from traditional load-carrying purpose towards more lucrative ones.

    It says with increasing number of tourists visiting the country, the demand for horses for riding purposes will increase in the next decade or so.

    “If we take India as an example, even in the face of development, there’s a huge demand for horses now. There are horses that cost Nu 300,000-700, 0000,” said Sonam, Manager of National Horse Breeding Farm, and added: “So, with changing times and changing mindset of people in the future, we believe the reverence and demand for horses will definitely be there like in the past”

    The farm currently has more than 70 horses that are of 4 different breeds. It has also established two farmer’s group that raises local horse breed at Boomdeling in Trashi Yangtse and Tandigang in Bumthang.

    However, limited pastureland for the horses in the farm and other human resource issues are affecting the proper functioning of the farm. The farm currently has about 50 acres of pastureland and 16 staff.

    “The current pool of human resource is not sufficient to shoulder the national objective of conserving and developing horses. We don’t have experts to do research on quality of different breed of horses in the country,” continued the farm manager.  But he said: “Our ministry has told we will be trained and provided with the necessary knowledge to carry out our duties.”

    The farm is now working towards encouraging and promoting ecotourism through horse riding among other activities.

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