I am encouraged to read in today’s KUENSEL that there is a discussion going on and perhaps even the possibility of the adoption of a Biodiversity Bill during the ongoing Parliamentary sessions. I am encouraged to note that the Khenpa Chair of the Committee who worked on the Bill has the institutional memory to draw upon – to ensure that the Bill does not turn out to be another Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan.
Hundreds and thousands of farmers are driven out of their farmlands – creating Goongtongs and huge pressures on the already overburdened urban infrastructure. As a result, developmental activities are, by necessity, centered in urban centers – to keep pace with the pressures brought on by the migrating rural population. Little wonder then that there is no money left to take development to rural communities.
I hope that the Parliamentarians have the common sense to read through the Biodiversity Bill, as if their money were at stake, so that something useful is passed into law – not one that takes away the birth rights and the just entitlements of the human society.
Please bear in mind: when conservation is at the cost of human development - conservation will eventually suffer.