Gangtok, 31 May, 2012:
Realizing the high demand of bird watching guides in the tourism sector, the Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project (SBFP) assisted by JICA organized a five day residential training programme on bird watching guiding at Okherey, West Sikkim from 22 May to 27 May.
The training had a total of 30 participants (unemployed youth) belonging to village clusters of Hee Gaon, Dzongu, Kitam, Pakyong, Fambongla Ribdi, Sombaria and Okherey . The training was delivered as a part of the capacity building of the villages chosen under the SBFP- JICA assisted project. The resource persons were invited from WWF- India, Wild life Institute of India, the newly formed Sikkim Ornithological Society and the National Eco Tourism Consultant of the SBFP project. It was coordinated by the Eco Tourism Marketing Cell of the project.
An elaborate practical class on the field guides was provided to all the participants along with theory classes held at Sherpa Bhavan Okherey. The training ended with a two day trek to Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary in which participants had a garbage collection competition.
It was ended formally on the 27th of April with the distribution of bird books and training certificate by the DFO ( Eco Tourism ) Dr. S Anbalagan .
This is the first set of trainings which will also be imparted throughout Sikkim to build the capacity of local stakeholders in guiding, home stays, trekking, bird watching etc.