Digital Himalaya Journals

Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas: Science, Socio-economics and Legislation (Tenure) Sangay Wangchuk 2002

Item Metadata


JSON: dhimjournal-1.0365171.json
JSON-LD: dhimjournal-1.0365171-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): dhimjournal-1.0365171-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: dhimjournal-1.0365171-rdf.json
Turtle: dhimjournal-1.0365171-turtle.txt
N-Triples: dhimjournal-1.0365171-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: dhimjournal-1.0365171-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Sangay Wangchuk*
The formulation of natural resource management policy
generally involves science, socio-economic environment and
legal framework. The thrust of the management policy is to
derive maximum benefits from the natural resources while at
the same time ensuring that the ecological integrity is not
compromised. The basic scientific process elements such as
ecological stability, resistance levels, resilience, restoration,
enhancement, and carrying capacity have been discussed in
relation to livestock grazing. These processes determine the
sustainability ofthe pastures under use.
The socio-economic environment under which a policy is
framed and implemented has a direct bearing on the
effectiveness of the policy. Besides formal laws, important
elements that have influence on the use, access and
sustainability of pastures are social structure, the role of the
livestock in the socio-economic development, social
organizational capability, flow of physical and social energy
within and outside the communities, hierarchical structure of
the communities, and patron-client relationship. Therefore, it
becomes difficult for most of the formal laws to change the
relationships relating to resource use and access patterns
among the communities once such relationships are
embedded in the social structure.
The laws of the country such as the Thrimzhung Chhenmo,
the Land Act, the Forest and Nature Conservation Act and the
' Head, Nature Conservation Division, Thimphu
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
National Assembly resolutions protect property rights over
pastures. Besides such laws, customary sanctions on the use
of and access to pastures have also evolved over the years. To
amend such laws involving property transfer rights from
private to state or common may be a complicated process as
proven in the past. Some examples are nationalization of
pastures and sharecropping. More innovative approaches will
be necessary to rationalize the relationship between
productivity of natural resources, and property rights
Grazing by livestock has been an important issue for the
management of the national parks and protected areas.
Generally, it has been observed that grazing has negative
impact on the ecological stability of the grazing area, albeit at
varying levels. This impact results primarily from two
sources- browsing of the ground flora and erosion as a result
of hove marks. Several studies have been carried out to
assess the impact of grazing on the resiliency of the ecosystem. While most studies have revealed that there is a
negative impact on the eco-system, the issue of separating it
from the resource use patterns of the rural households and
communities has been difficult to reconcile.
It must be recognized that livestock is a part of rural
livelihood, and it forms a part of the fabric that links other
elements of socio-economic structure of individual
households and communities. The traditional livestock
species has evolved to adapt to rugged and a wide range of
areas available for grazing. This has resulted in the adoption
of tending and management practices that involves minimum
inputs, particularly the practice of letting the livestock stray
into the forest without any restraint.
Individuals, households, communities, dratshang (state
monastic body), etc have grazing rights over pastures that
may be inside or outside national parks and protected areas.
These rights are legitimated by the Thrimzhung Chhenmo,
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
the Land Act of 1979 and the Forest and Nature Conservation
Act of 1995. The National Assembly has also often passed
resolutions relating to ownership and management of grazing
land/pastures from time to time. All these rights are recorded
in the main thram (land register) maintained by the Ministry
of Home Affairs and a copy held by the owner. Therefore, the
property rights regime relating to grazing/pasture is
Ecological Stability/Integrity
Fig.l: Ecological Stability and Bounds of Variations /Resilience
...    Jaunt lliYill
Adopted from SEAN
The two final goals of eco-system management are stability
and diversity. Ecological stability can be defined as the
capacity to maintain a certain level of optimum productivity,
thus the capacity to buffer and regulate disturbances and
variation of determining conditions. Stability includes both
the concepts of resistance and resilience.
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
Resistance is a system's capacity to buffer fluctuations in
determining factors of the surrounding environment (e.g.
variations in rainfall, temperature, sedimentation, and
others). As a result of these processes, productivity of the
system goes up and down within limits around an average
level. Such fluctuations can be considered a normal,
although, as eco-systems are evolutionary rather than
mechanistic, they exhibit a limited degree of predictability
(Constanza et al., 1993). Resistance can be measured by the
coefficient of variation in productivity (Conway, 1994). This
implies that levels of equilibrium, for instance of a pasture
eco-system can be defined within certain margins. The
average value is not a real equilibrium, but only an empirical
mathematical average of observed fluctuations. As all natural
processes are characterized by great variation and a certain
level of unpredictability, levels of equilibrium can only be
defined within certain limits. Although the average value is
sometimes referred to as the natural level of equilibrium, a
situation of absolute stability is seldom encountered, since
there are always fluctuations and gradual changes. Therefore,
what are commonly accepted are transition processes and
fluctuations around average values.
Under some extreme conditions and use, eco-systems
productivity may fall well below the average level and normal
fluctuations. If productivity falls, it may recover either to its
original level or to a new lower level, or in extreme cases it
may cease to exist altogether.
Resilience is the ability of the system to return to a former
state, after being affected by major disturbances (Connel and
Slatyer, 1977). Connel and Slayter describe various measures
of resilience as:
1. Inertia   (level   of disturbances   or   shock  that   can  be
resisted without major change);
2. Elasticity (speed of recovery from disturbance);
3. Amplitude    (maximum    amount   of   change    following
disturbance and process of recovery);
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
4. Hysteresis (difference between process of disturbance
and process of recovery); and
5. Malleability (difference between productivity before and
after disturbance).
There is a continuum between resistance and resilience:
resistance may refer to the dynamics when an eco-system is
subject to minor disturbances, and resilience may refer to
major disturbances in a highly variable natural conditions or
in unexpected situations (e.g. man-made fires). For instance,
the bound of variation or resilience levels for forest fires
between Pinus wallichiana and Pinus roxburghii forests will
differ. The bound of variation or resilience will determine the
collapse of eco-system. So long as the forest fires are not
repeated or the pastures are used within the carrying
capacity, the eco-system will recover. However, if forest fires
occur before the eco-system can recover or the pastures are
over-used, the process may push the eco-system beyond the
bound of resilience, and therefore, lead to the collapse of the
eco-system. The process of destruction of the biomass by
forest fires, followed by browsing of the spring vegetation will
push the eco-system beyond the bound of variation or
resilience. This example can be observed along the Thimphu-
Paro highway wherein the eco-system seems to have almost
collapsed beyond the capability to support the recovery of any
vegetative growth. Cumulative effects of such disturbances
(change over time of one of the factors determining ecosystem productivity) have led to the gradual (e.g. the gradual
increase of grazing pressure or of soil depletion) (Brown,
1994) degradation of the eco-system along the Thimphu-Paro
Although little empirical evidence has been published, it is
evident from general observation that cumulative impact of
forest fires and grazing are the two main sources of
environmental degradation. This can be demonstrated if one
observes the difference in quality and quantity of vegetative
cover between inside and outside a fenced plantation,
particularly on steep slopes and high intensity grazing areas.
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
The evidence of intensive grazing is obvious as reflected by
the criss-cross of trampling marks, in some cases resulting in
permanent tracks. Such level of grazing intensity will lead to
the process of irreversible environmental degradation whereby
the eco-system is incapacitated to support regeneration.
It also shows that the eco-system has been used beyond its
carrying capacity. Therefore, grazing frequency, intensity and
maintaining the carrying capacity of the eco-system are
critical elements of eco-system resiliency. This has been
amply revealed by studies carried out in some of the national
parks described later.
Environmental degradation, regeneration processes and
carrying capacity
Changes in the environmental functions result from
pressures on such functions, such as human interventions,
natural processes and events, or both. Generally human
interventions include exploitation, destruction or disposal of
waste materials. The relationship between regeneration
processes and pressures determines to what extent such
processes lead to degradation of the environmental functions.
Therefore, reproduction and regeneration processes influence
the capacities to maintain stability, and include regulation
processes such as reproduction rates of animals, re-growth
and succession of plants, soil formation, purification and
decomposition and recharge of water storage. Kesseler, et al
have recognized basically three degradation processes of
environmental functions as:
1. Depletion. Taking out (utilizing, exploiting)
environmental resources (e.g. plants, nutrients, animals,
etc.) in excess of regeneration rates;
2. Pollution. Putting in quantities of damaging elements in
excess of rate of decomposition, break down and
purification processes; and
3. Disruption and manipulation. Changing or destroying the
natural conditions (e.g. construction of roads,
introduction of exotic species or variants by genetic
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
It is also generally accepted that there are limits to the
resilience of the environmental capacities to provide goods
and services. Concepts of environmental utility space and
carrying capacity are used to explain this phenomenon. Some
examples are the capacity to:
1. Provide a certain amount of nitrogen for plant growth;
2. Produce certain amount of energy;
3. Purify a certain amount of polluted water; and
4. Provide a certain amount of water.
While it is generally believed that grazing has negative
impacts on the eco-system, some experience of positive
aspects in national parks and protected areas have been
Studies carried out in the Thrumsingla National Park showed
cattle grazing in broadleaf forests tends to alter forest species
composition as cattle browse all large tree species except non-
palatable species such as symplocos, daphyniphyllum,
rhododendron, litsea and persea. When a large number of
cattle graze over a long period, the impact is shown by an
increase in weed and unpalatable tree species frequency.
Further changes in forest composition may occur with the
proliferation of Laportea spp., Viburnum spp., fern and
bamboo by which forests are permanently altered. The study
also showed that there is only a limited time for the cattle-
preferred species to grow as the area is grazed by cattle in
summer and yaks in winter. Effects of grazing is minimal and
forests resilience to regenerate increases when cattle
population density is low, and grazing is effectively managed
and regulated in areas with high cattle density. However,
cattle eat so much of palatable biomass that there is very
little left for the free-ranging ungulates.
Impacts of disturbance induced by grazing over time depend
on the type of eco-system. For instance, human influences on
the landscape through the introduction of burning and
grazing have probably led to the replacement of relatively
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
species-poor habitats by more species-rich ones. This was
observed in the Jigme Dorji National Park (Laya) wherein
Rhododendron setosum dominated vegetation, typically
supporting only three or four species of herb or grass.
Assuming that R. setosum dominated vegetation is a relatively
natural and largely unmodified eco-type, it appears that after
the introduction of grazing, the effect of trampling opens up
the ground cover to other species. Under these
circumstances, around 30 species were recorded. Similarly,
on an adjacent area of R. setosum, burned around 15 years
ago, 48 species were recorded and there was greater cover by
palatable grass species. However, on a very steep slope
burned at the same time, the survey team noted less grass
cover, more exposed soil and more moss cover together with
associated land slippages. Therefore, species richness is often
the result of a subtle interplay between management
practices and the ecological response of grass and herb
species to the changes imposed.
A similar study carried out by Renewable Natural Resource-
Research Centre (RNR-RC) in Bumthang, revealed that
moderate level of grazing in conifer forest seems to benefit the
forests, and activates natural regeneration. However, in broad
leaf forests, grazing definitely impacts negatively on natural
The issue of grazing cannot be discussed from ecological or
legal point of view only. The role of livestock in the socioeconomic structure of the various households and
communities has to be examined before putting forth any
policy based on "technical fix" approach. There are issues
such as "can any meaningful change be facilitated by the
government which primarily involves the lifestyle of the rural
households and communities"? How can this change, if at all
possible, link to other patterns of livelihood amongst the
households and communities? What viable/sustainable and
acceptable options can be offered for the proposed change?
Since the present practice of grazing by the rural people is
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
considered detrimental to the ecological stability, what type
and level of government intervention is considered
appropriate and adequate?
The functioning of the socio-economic structure at the micro-
community level needed to be analyzed, particularly the
traditionally accepted mode of access to and use of pastures
based on client-patron relationship.
Livestock rearing is a private sector enterprise sustained
initially through some support from the government such as
improvement of breed, health care, feed, etc. Otherwise its
functioning has little bearing on the government, except some
policy decisions impact on its sustainability. It is in this
context that discussion on socio-economic issues related to
grazing is focused?
Like many agricultural enterprises, livestock rearing is a
private undertaking. This may be practiced at individual,
household, or community level. This practice has not
undergone any major changes in Bhutan as some societies
have experienced wherein the state has intervened, and
nationalized all livestock and managed as central farms or
limit the holding back of benefits from livestock farming.
Government has not fixed any upper or lower limits of price of
livestock products except for meat to adjust to structural dis-
functioning of economics of supply and demand in urban
areas. There is also no limit to the size of the herd of the
livestock. Furthermore, all rights to pastures have been
conferred to individuals, households, communities and
institutions by the laws of the county such as the
Thrimshung Chhenmo, the Land Act, the Forest and Nature
Conservation Act, and other by-laws. It is therefore, to a large
extent and under some limitations, a free enterprise. The
state comes to picture only when the functioning of the
enterprise impacts negatively on the environment, i.e.
pastures, as it is considered to be the mandate of the state to
protect the environment of the country for larger interest.
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
While discussing either a pasture management strategy or a
national pasture policy, the participation of the livestock
owners and pasture/grazing right holders is crucial for any
meaningful impact of such decisions. The normally accepted
approach of taking many things for granted has to a large
extent ground many strategies and policy decisions. When
one is dealing with a private enterprise such as livestock it
becomes even more imperative to consider the participatory
approach to decision-making. However, in the context of
Bhutan, the term participation has to be viewed from a
realistic perspective. To participate one would also need to
negotiate (Wangchuk, S. 1997). And it is at this stage of
participation one runs short of negotiating partners. For
instance, we have little insight into as to how households that
comprise a community are organized, the patron-client
relationships, and flow of natural resources and social energy
within and outside these communities. The social
organizational pattern and capability are other important
elements that determine the level of participation in the
development of strategies and policies that are assumed to
particularly benefit them, and the government to certain
Private property rights regime has been established through
legitimacy conferred by the Thrimzhung Chhenmo and
various other laws of the country. Grazing rights clearly figure
as one of the main rights and concessions conferred upon
individuals, households, communities, and institutions by
these laws. These rights and concessions are deeply founded
and well entrenched in the inheritance mindset of the right
holders and will not forfeit or give up such rights under
normal circumstances. It may take adequate financial
incentives or national interest for the right holders to give up
the rights. The concept of phazhing and being able to hold on
it could also influence decision of the right holders. For
instance, if one analyze the reasons for not being able to get
the National Pasture Policy even past the government
agencies, this can be attributed to a large extent to such
reasons.   It  may have  been  a difficult proposition for the
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
pasture/grazing right holders to agree to the nationalization
of their pastures without adequate financial compensation,
which the government could not afford at such magnitude.
For instance, the government approved compensation of Nu
200 per acre of grazing/pasture rights withdrawn by the
government. Assuming that at least such rights cover 10% of
the country, the compensation amount could run into
millions that the government may not be able to pay.
The issue of changing the property rights regime was
discussed in the 74th Session of the National Assembly in
1996. This was in relation to sharecropping of agricultural
land in Trongsa Dzongkhag. The people's representative of
Trongsa had pleaded for transferring the ownership rights to
the share-croppers as the share-croppers have to share the
crops with the land owner although they have done all the
hard work in the field. It was also submitted that the practice
of sharecropping discourages sharecroppers to invest in land
development such as soil conservation programme, proper
maintenance of irrigation, etc. Amendments to the Land Act
relating to sharecropping were suggested as:
1. People dependent on share-cropping should be given
independent land holdings;
2. All land owners should be made to cultivate their land
by themselves and not by others; and
3. If landowners are engaged in business or government
service, their land should be sold to the sharecroppers.
If the sharecroppers cannot buy the land, such land
should be bought by the government and sold to them
at subsidized price.
Not a single member of the National Assembly supported the
proposal, and in fact it was felt that such a proposal would
involve drastic change from the existing provisions of the
Land Act. It was argued that the law should not be amended
for the benefit of a few individuals. The National Assembly
therefore resolved that the proposal does not warrant any
discussion  and  that  the   sharecroppers  should  follow the
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
provisions of the Land Act. The resolution is a reflection of the
complexity of property rights and tenure systems, and that
sometimes logic (optimal land use policy) does not make
much sense.
Another example of such a case can be seen in Laya, a
community dependent entirely on livestock rearing. A study
carried out by the Jigme Dorji National Park in 2000 in Laya
showed a similar trend of land ownership pattern. One of the
main findings was a skewed distribution of pastures, the
dratshang being one of the major owners. Given an option,
the local community would like to take over the pastures
owned by the dratshang and distribute among themselves,
depending on the herd size. Although the dratshang does not
maintain any livestock, past experience shows that this is
most unlikely to happen.
Legal Framework and Tenure
The legal framework on the use of and access to pasture is
unambiguously laid down in the Thrimzhung Chhenmo, the
Land Act of 1978, Forest and Nature Conservation Act of
1995, the Forest and Nature Conservation Rules of 2000 and
various resolutions passed by the National Assembly from
time to time. Based on the provisions of the laws, technical
regulations such as management plans, guidelines, etc. have
also been approved by the government. Discussions relating
to the legal and tenure aspects of grazing and pasture
management have been carried out below.
The Land Act of 1978
Ownership of Grazing Rights
The Land Act 1978 recognizes the right to hold grazing rights
by individuals, households, communities, and the dratshang.
The chapter on Use of Grazing Rights/ Pastures states:
Section Ka 8 "An owner of a registered grazing land in Thram
can be issued a permit to use enough pasture of his choice
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
for his cattle out of his own grazing land. If a person has
surplus grazing land after grazing his cattle or a person has
no cattle but uses his registered pastures for grazing of
other's cattle on payment then it can be taken over and
permit for grazing can be issued to the traditional users. In
the absence of any previous user, permit for grazing will be
issued to the owners of the cattle in villages in the vicinity of
the grazing land. Priority of grazing will be that of those
nearest to the grazing land, nobody is permitted to graze the
lands wherever they like." Further under section Ka 8.6 says "
Owners of grazing land having no cattle cannot let out their
pastures" and that "A person or a member of a family without
having cattle is allowed to maintain the grazing land
registered in his Thram. However, people who own cattle but
not enough pasture can use the grazing land and water after
obtaining permit from the government. The Thram holder can
neither let out his grazing land nor graze others cattle
pretending to be belonging to him."
Ownership of grazing rights cannot be withdrawn even if the
right holder does not posses any cattle. Section 8.7 of
Chapter VIII protects his rights as "Rights of ownership of
grazing land - If an owner of grazing land has lost all his
cattle and later on buys cattle and needs the grazing land
then he has full right over the grazing land registered in his
Thram as per Ka 8.4"
The Act has recognized the nomadic life style of the nomads
(Dropa) and provides a clause under Section Ka 8.8 as "Use
of grazing land by nomads who have no cultivable land -
nomads who has neither cultivable land anywhere nor cattle
and is entirely dependent on the grazing land as his
livelihood, can let out his grazing land on Tsarin Churin.
However, the owner must get a permit from the
Dzongdag/Dungkhag of the area and give it to the person
who wants to graze his cattle. Dropa who have grazing land
but very few cattle and no cultivable land can also let out
their balance of grazing area on Tsarin Churin."
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
The use of grazing rights/pastures owned by goendey have
also been explained in the Land Act under Section Ka 8.9
"Use of pasture land belonging to goendey -Grazing land
registered in the main Thram in the name of lhakhang,
goendey and theptsa yojay etc. can be grazed without permit.
However, if such land is registered in the name of individual
persons instead of lhakhang, goenkhang, theptsa yojay etc.
then action should be taken according to rules. Likewise for
the use of grazing land belonging to goendey, dratshang,
rabdey, royal family etc., permit will have to be obtained as
per rules."
People can use unregistered grazing land under Section Ka
8.10 but will be guided by Ka 6.14 even if one posses a kasho.
The Section further states "If a family is using a grazing land
which is not registered in the Thram but has a kasho in their
possession, then the right of ownership will be guided by Ka
6.14. (SI. No.3 ofthe 46th Tshogdu, 1977)."
All land including pastures have to be registered within 360
days, and as per Section Ka.6.14 "Allotted land not registered
in the thram within 360 days shall be treated as Government
land" This also includes "Land inherited, purchased, allotted
through kasho, received as gift, new allotment by Government
etc. if not registered in the main Thram within 360 days from
the day of acquisition will be treated as Government land and
the owner will not have any claim on it."
The Forest and Nature Conservation Act 1995
The Forest and Nature Conservation Act 1995 has also
provided a section on grazing. Chapter VI of the Act has a
provision on the establishment of protected areas that have
implications on grazing in parks and protected areas. Section
21 (a) states "The Royal Government may declare any land in
the country to be a National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary, Wildlife
Reserve, Strict Nature Reserve, Protected Forest, Research
Forest, Conservation Area, Cultural or Natural Heritage Site,
Biosphere Reserve, Critical Watershed or other category of
Protected Area for the preservation of national importance,
protection   of biological   diversity,   management   of wildlife,
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
conservation of soil and water and related purposes. If any
private registered land is taken under this section,
compensation or alternative land rights shall be provided in
accordance with section 9." Chapter VII Section 30 (a) states
"The Ministry (Agriculture) may issue rules regulating grazing
in Government Reserved Forests, subject to such conditions
as may be prescribed." And Section 30 (b) states " Where the
head of the department determines that the land located in
Government reserved forests is suffering from soil erosion or
other environmental degradation, he may, after consulting
with the appropriate local authority, order that grazing on
such land be stopped for specified time or be permitted only
under specified conditions" and Section 30 (c) "Cattle
trespassing in a Reserved Forest which has been lawfully
closed to grazing shall be deemed to be doing damage to
plantations, regeneration and catchment areas and may be
seized and a suitable fine as prescribed by the Ministry will be
levied." Further Section 21 (c) states 'The Ministry may issue
rules to regulate or prohibit any activity within a Protected
In accordance with the authority vested by the Act, the
Ministry of Agriculture has framed rules on the
implementation of the provisions (the Forest and Nature
Conservation Rules of 2000 Vol. I). And rules relating to
grazing states as under Section 62 (2) "grazing permits
within the Protected Areas may be issued only for traditional
grazers, who must, comply with all regulations under Chapter
VIII of this Rule". Chapter VIII of the Rule states as " These
Rules observe the following under the purview of section 30(a)
of the Act.
Grazing in Government Reserved Forest
Cattle   grazing  in  the  government-reserved  forest  may  be
allowed as long as the following regulations are complied:
a) The department as per section 30(a) of the Act can stop
the grazing in specified location for a specified period;
b) Grazing is restricted in an  area which is fenced for
natural regeneration or in a plantation area with or
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
without fencing in a given period or till the seedlings are
well established;
c) The Department, if required under this chapter, shall
issue orders to effect the grazing in the forest on
rotational basis at any time as per the plans prescribed
under chapter II of these Rules; and
d) Cattle trespassing in the Government Reserved Forest
shall be treated as per Section 30(c) of the Act. However,
this chapter shall not affect the existing path tsalam and
chulam, traditionally used during the migrating season
provided such paths are within the fencing established
by the government.
The department may impose ban on grazing in a registered
tsamdrog whether located within or outside government
reserved forest for a specified period if there is a good reason
to believe that such steps are required to safeguard the land
from degeneration.
The Rules have prescribed penalties for violation of rules
including grazing as under:
Section 84 Sub-section 6 (g) states "for grazing livestock
within a Core Zone, except by traditional grazers with proper
permission under Chapter VII (and such other provisions that
may apply), a penalty of Nu 500."
Section 84. Sub-section 8 (f) states "for grazing in the
restricted areas, a fine of not more than Nu 500 or
compensation equivalent to Nu 50 per livestock head."
Technical Regulations
As per the  authority conferred by the  Forest and  Nature
Conservation Act 1995, technical regulations on the use of
natural resources including pastures have been framed as
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
Core Zone
Buffer Zone
Zone (Within
(Outside Park
Park Boundary)
With Permit
(Including Roads,
Fences, Any
As Per EIA
Settlement or
Yes, But Only
For Residents
Based on
Plan and EIA
Yes, For Use by
the Residents
No, Except for
Users With
From the Park
Yes, With Permit
Migration of
Yes for Passage
Collection of Dry
Yes, For Use by
the Residents
Collection of
Yes, For Use by
Yes with a
Green Firewood
the Residents
With a Permit
Camping and
Yes With A
Taking of Wildlife
Yes With A
Yes with a
Extraction of Soil,
Yes Within 2 Km
Yes, Within 2
Sand, Stones
Radius of
Km Radius of
Domestic User's
Domestic User's
Extraction of
Yes, For
Yes, For
Use/ Consump
Use/ Consump
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
Core Zone shall mean fully protected zone within a Protected
Area, designated in accordance with Technical Regulations in
which human related activities are not permitted, except for
regulated research and monitoring programs.
Protected Area shall mean an area, which has been declared
to be a national park, conservation area, wildlife reserve,
nature reserve, strict nature reserve, research forest, critical
watershed or other protected areas in accordance with the Act
and Rules.
For example, the Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) has used
the technical regulations approved by the government to
protect the core zone of takin habitat. In Tsharijathang, the
park management and the local yak herders have agreed to
demarcate the takin grazing area from that of the yaks. While
the Thrimzhung Chhenmo and the Land Act ensure that the
rules of the law are respected, and that individuals' rights
over property are protected, the Forest and Nature
Conservation Act 1995 focuses to maintain the ecological
integrity of the country. Therefore, the two Acts differ both in
focus and spirit.
Grazing/pasture Management Policy for National Parks
and Protected Areas
Since grazing involves use of a renewable natural resource, it
is imperative to have a good knowledge of the processes
involved in maintaining the eco-system productivity of this
renewable natural resource. Many studies have been carried
out in other countries on the eco-system management and
ecological stability, and limited studies carried out in Bhutan.
It is important to have a clear understanding of the impact of
various human interventions, and the expected response of
the eco-system to such interventions. Policy decision on the
level and intensity of the use of the pastures should therefore
be based on the scientific knowledge on the ecological
processes - its ability to recover or its resilience, cost of
restoration and enhancement, etc.
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
A living eco-system is a dynamic system that can take certain
amount of stress. Therefore, pastures in the national parks
and protected areas should not close up the entire area for
grazing. The level and extent should, therefore, be based on
the resilience of the particular area. The guidelines of the
management plan may be a useful source of direction and
The social structure and the patron-client relationship are
important elements to decide the use of and access to
pastures in the communities. Regulations originating from
the state on any resource use involving community are rarely
effective. Grazing/pasture policy will need to look deeper into
such social arrangements, and not rely entirely on logical
sequence and productivity of a particular natural resource.
Pasture is a private property conferred on the right holders by
the Thrimzhung Chhenmo, the Land Act, the Forest Act of
1978 and the Nature Conservation Act of 1995. Any
intervention by the state in the rearrangement of the private
property (pasture) will entail careful planning and active
participation by the right holders. Such need was amply
reflected by the response of the landowners when the issue of
sharecropping was discussed in the National Assembly.
Therefore, it becomes imperative to address the tenure
aspects, and involve the pasture/grazing right holders before
taking any major policy decision, particularly if it involves a
shift in property rights regime.
1. Bromley, Daniel W. (1991). Environment and Economy: Property
Rights and Public Policy, Blackwell: Oxford.
2. Burch, William R. and Donald DeLuca (1984). Measuring the
Social Impact of Natural Resource Policies, Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press
3. Ministry of Agriculture (1995). Forest and Nature Conservation
Act 1995, Thimphu: RGOB
4. Ministry of Agriculture (NA.). Forest and Nature Conservation
Rules 2000 (Vol. I & II), Thimphu: RGOB
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
5. Nature Conservation Section, FSD, Ministry of Agriculture (N.A.).
Jigme Dorji National Park Management Plan, 1995-2001,
Thimphu: RGOB
6. Jigme Dorji National Park (2000). Integrated Conservation and
Development Plan - A Pilot Project in Laya Gewog, Gasa
Dzongkhag, Thimphu: RGOB
7. Golley, F.B. (1983). Ecosystems of the World - Tropical Rain
Forest Ecosystems: Structure and Function
8. Gyamtsho, Pema (1996). Assessment of the Condition and
Potential for Improvement of High Attitude Rangelands of Bhutan.
Doctoral Thesis, Zurich: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
9. Jodha, N.S. (1986). "Common Property Resources and Rural
Poor in Dry Regions of India", Economic and Political Weekly
10. Kaul, Minoti Chakravarty (992). "Forest Rights and Forest Laws
in the Indian Himalayas during the Second Half of the 19th
Century", Schmithusen, Forest Law and Environmental
11. Kessler, Jan Joost (N.A.) Theoretical Background to Strategic
Environmental Analysis, SNV
12. Survey of Bhutan (N.A.). Land Act 1979, Thimphu: RGOB
13. Miller, Daniel. (1995). Herds on the Move: Winds of Change
among pastoralists in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau.
Katmandu: ICIMOD
14. National Assembly, RGOB (1996). Proceedings and Resolutions of
the 74th Session ofthe National Assembly
15. Rosset, J. (1999). "Temperate Conifer Forests of Bhutan: A
review of forestry research activities until June 1998", in RNR-
RC Jakar, Special Publication No. 3, 1999
16. Schmithusen, Franz and Spinnler Martin (1996). Bibliography of
Forest Legislation, Forest Tenures and Joint Utilization Systems
on Public Land
17. Schmithusen, Franz (1996). Experiences with Public Forest
Ownership and Joint Management Systems - Proceedings of
IUFRO Forestry Conference Pushkino, Moscow, June 1994
18. Wathern, Peter (1992). Environmental Impact Assessment -
Theory and Practice
19. Wangchuk, S. (2001). River Ecosystems in Bhutan: Background
Paper for Preparation of Environmental Action Plan, Thimphu:
National Environmental Commission
20. Wangchuk, S. (1998). Local Perceptions and Indigenous
Institutions as Forms of Social Performance for Sustainable Forest
Management in Bhutan. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology:
Forstwissenchaftliche Beitrage 20
 Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas
21. Wangchuk, R.T. (1999). Diet Selection by Bhutan Takin Budorcas
taxicolor white on Summer Range in Jigme Dorji National Park,
Bhutan, Master of Science, Thesis, Agriculture University of
22. Yonzon, Pralad (2000). Status of Wildlife Conservation,
Thrumshingla National Park, Thimphu: Nature Conservation
Division, DFS, MOA


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items