Last month marked the first official meeting of the Trans Bhutan Trail Steering Committee. Representing a diverse group of stakeholders including government ministries, CSOs, and autonomous groups, the members include:
- Dorji Dradual, Director General, Tourism Council of Bhutan
- Kado Zangpo, Director, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs
- Kinley Tenzin, Executive Director, Royal Society for the Protection of Nature
- Passang W.Norbu, Advisor, Department of Forests and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests
- Karma Tshering, Field Director, Bhutan Canada Foundation
- Sam Blyth, Founder and Chair of the Board, Bhutan Canada Foundation
The Trongsa Dzong announced earlier last month that they will renovate the traditional cantilever bridge over Mangdechhu (featured image above). We are very excited to be working in partnership with Trongsa both regarding the bridge and the surrounding trail development. This is a historically significant part of the trail as the gates of the Trongsa Dzong were the gateway between East and West Bhutan. We also had successful meetings with the Trongsa, Wangdue, and Punakha Dzongkas, chief engineers, tourism operators, elders, educations, and even the Colonel of the Punakha Police! In between meetings, we were able to survey over 20 kilometers of the trail which met basic standard.
December 17 marked National Day in Bhutan. His Majesty announced the introduction of the National Service project which will commence in 2022. This is a very exciting initiative. This ‘Right of passage’ will ensure youth to learn about their lineage by trekking and maintaining the trail along with way. In other trail related initiatives, Trongsa celebrated the resurgence of its Historical Health Walk which occurred on November 30th, 2019 from the Trongsa View Point into town. This is a wonderful initiative that Trongsa has taken on further supporting the rejuvenation of the entire West-East route.
We have secured the draft trail logo images in preparation to meet with the Marketing Committee in the next few weeks. We’re also looking forward to meetings with De-Suung, a a highly trained group of volunteers who support various initiatives across the country and Greener Way, a plastics recycling company. Both could assist with providing signage along the trail.
This blog was written by Catherine Smart, see the original post here: https://smartmovetraining.ca/index.php/2020/01/01/trans-bhutan-trail-december-2019/