The Bhutan Ecological Society (BES) successfully hosted its Third Annual Research Symposium & Environmental Fair on 27-29 August in Thimphu, Bhutan. The 3-day education and outreach programe drew large crowds and great public interest, thanks to the support and active participation of Thimphu schools and 21 organizations including universities, government agencies, green businesses and CSOs.

Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck, the Royal Patron of society, opened the programme on 27 August with a welcome speech emphasizing the importance of economic growth hand-in-hand with protecting the intact ecosystems that Bhutan’s forefathers gifted to all future generations.

The next day, a full-day research symposium featured talks by 21 participants and two primary schools. Children from Early Learning Centre, Thimphu, and from Rinchen kuenphen Primary School, gave presentations on how they are practicing environmental conservation on a daily basis in their homes and schools. The day’s programme also included a morning poster session, with participants answering questions about their conservation work in Bhutan.

The final day of the programme was held in Clock Tower Square, on 29 August, with BES President Dasho Paljor J. Dorji inspiring a crowd of more than 300 to take individual responsibility for protecting our environment. Throughout the day, families and children enjoyed hands-on environmental art projects; life-sized displays of animals; recycled art demonstrations by school children; interactive wildlife research exhibitions; educational games; and all-day singing and dance performances. In the evening, BES sponsored an award for ‘Design For Change’ winning school. For 2015, Design For Change award was bagged by Changzamtog Lower Secondary School for their creative and innovative story for Change on Collection of Earthquake Blankets and Disposal of pet bottles.

The Bhutan Ecological Society was started in 2010 by the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment. Under the active leadership of its President Dasho Paljor J. Dorji and Royal Patron HRH Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck, BES has grown to become a consortium of more than 720 members from 9 countries, with a common vision for an environmentally sustainable future. Bhutan Foundation has been the primary sponsor for the Society since the inception of BES.