UWICE has started a feasibility study to implement a physical and biological change-monitoring program of schools in Bhutan.
A team comprising officials from the Department of School Education, Department of Hydromet Services and UWICE will visit schools located in different regions and ecological zones of Bhutan. Some of these schools are located in far and remote places without any access to motor roads. However, given the importance of having representative ecological zones, the Institute is determined to include these remote schools in the study.
Based on this field visit, the Institute will select twenty schools to implement the first phase of the monitoring project. Also, during the visit, the team will identify focal teachers from the schools, identify tree species, and assess sites for weather station installation. As the next step, UWICE will work on setting up the infrastructure in the selected schools and training focal teachers in data generation.
For schools, as conveyed by some teachers, such a study is exciting and will go a long way in contributing towards understanding the impact of climate change in Bhutan, and beyond. However, some teachers have expressed concerns on sustainability of the program in terms of replicating to other schools and subsequent continuity.
This is first time such a study is being carried out in Bhutan. Yet, understanding the climate change dynamic through plant and animal Phenology is very crucial, especially at times of increasingly unprecedented climate change related events of national scale.
The Project, through this schools and communities based monitoring program, will generate baseline data and share critical information among scientists, researchers, educators and citizens on impact of climate change on the ecosystem.