Bhutan, “The Land of the Thunder Dragon,” will be hosting its first-ever film festival and forum on Climate Action and Biodiversity Conservation from November 2 to 7 in Thimphu and Paro.
The film festival will screen 25 international award winning films from different parts of the world on various relevant environmental issues like climate change and adaptation and mitigation, wildlife conservation, water conservation, forest conservation and sustainable livelihood.
The event is being organised by Asia’s biggest Environmental Film Festival and Forum CMS VATAVARAN in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission of India and Bhutan, IUCN CEC, Royal Thimphu College, Thimphu and Norbuling Rigter College, Paro.
"It is a privilege for RTC to be hosting the Bhutan CMS VATARAN Film festival and Forum on Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Action 2022. It blends well with our setting of pristine environment and learnings that happen here in our Environment management and Mass communication programmes. Such an engagement will inspire our students to align their lives to GNH and enable them to champion for biodiversity conservation and climate action to communities around the world,’’ RTC president Tshewang Tandin said.
The event will be held at Royal Thimphu College from November 2 to 4 and at the Norbuling Rigter College, Paro on November 7.
The festival and forum aim to facilitate youth participation in planning, policy and action in conserving the rich natural resources and environmental heritage of Bhutan, the organiser said in a release.
The event will have a series of programmes which will cover film screenings, seminars, workshops, panel discussions, etc. focusing on the environmental, social and economic aspects of Climate-Change and Biodiversity Conservation in the Greater Himalayan Region, the release stated.
On this occasion, two prominent Bhutanese environmentalists Dr Nawang Norbu, Executive Director (Vice-President) of Bhutan Ecological Society and Dr Rebecca Pradhan, senior ecologist and botanist at the Royal Society for Protection of Nature Bhutan will be conferred upon the “Bhutan CMS VATAVARAN Green Ambassador Awards” for their contribution in the field of Biodiversity Conservation in Bhutan, the release added.
The inaugural ceremony will be followed by a series of panel discussions, seminars, green filmmaking workshops and master classes and short film competitions, the organisers said.
Several eminent speakers, including Sean Southey (Chair for the Commission on Education and Communication (IUCN-CEC) at the International Union for Conservation of Nature), Colin Shonk (Counsellor and Head, Advocacy Programme: Public Diplomacy, Media, Academic & Cultural Relations at the High Commission of Canada in India and Bhutan), Chimi Rinzin (Country Director, WWF Bhutan), P N Vasanti (DG CMS), Dorji Dorji (Acting Chief Program Officer, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation), Dr Shiva Raj Bhattarai, Dean (Academics), Royal Thimphu College and Rakesh Rao, Sr Environmental, Science and Conservation Filmmaker from India will be participating in it, they added.
“I am delighted that Canada and Bhutan are further strengthening their relations and working together on the critical issues related to combating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and protecting the environment. I encourage everyone to fully engage in the festival activities and take action to build a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable planet for future generations,” Cameron MacKay, Canada’s Ambassador, said.
Also speaking on the occasion, Dr Vasanti Rao, DG CMS said, “A beautiful carbon-neutral country in the Himalayas, Bhutan, climate change is not just an environmental problem but a serious challenge to sustainable development.
"Communities are facing a range of climate-related dangers i.e. melting glaciers and shrinking water reservoirs; a higher incidence of diseases spread by mosquitoes and floods; more frequent flash floods, forest fires and landslides.
"By organizing festivals and forums like these, we can connect these local changes to larger global trends and discourse, and also introspect/discuss what we all collectively can do to conserve the same. We invite all residents and nature lovers of Bhutan to attend this festival.”