Saving Paddy Fields - bfl

Saving Paddy Fields for Black-Necked Crane in Bumdeling valley

The Bumdeling flood plain measuring 142 hectares was declared as the wetland of international importance by the RAMSAR in 2012. The adjacent areas are cultivated and local people rear livestock. The site stretches from the Zhapang village in the north to Dungzam bridge in the south ranging approximately 4 to 5 kilometres along the Kholongchhu. The paddy fields in the valley are extensively used as winter feeding and roosting ground by Black-necked cranes (BNCs (Grus nigricollis). However, the low-lying agricultural lands of local communities have been experiencing the seasonal flash floods from Nakpolachhu which has eroded the paddy fields at the banks.

Given the nature of flat topography, the debris and sediments easily flooded and damaged the paddy fields in absence of a reliable embankment. The inundations have resulted in drastic reduction of roosting and feeding ground for BNCs. Through Bhutan for Life project (BFL) funding, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) implemented environmentally friendly bioengineering solution to minimize the damage to the paddy fields. Seven-layer thick belt of greening has been created by planting native trees at the embankment wall towards the community paddy fields. The fully established greening belt would serve as a shielding cushion to the future flash-floods, minimizing the dent to approximately 30 acres of paddy fields belonging to 40 households of Bumdeling.

These works will benefit to save the habitats of BNCs and also, help the farmers protect their paddy fields, which is the main source of their livelihoods, from being washed away.