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Conservation in the Tiger’s Nest: Mediating Human-Wildlife Conflict in Bhutan

Join The Explorers Club on Monday, March 27th to learn about some of conservation’s most pressing questions: How can you strike a balance to ensure that tigers thrive with the full support of the communities? How can conservation benefit local farmers? How can spirituality play a vital role in this?

Featuring Khedrup Rinpoche and Tshewang Wangchuk, members of the Explorer’s club chapter in Bhutan. They will discuss the challenges of, and opportunities for,  conservation and spirituality in Central Bhutan. The audience will be left with an understanding of how vital it is to maintain a harmonious coexistence between endangered species and rural communities.

 


 

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is renowned for its development philosophy of Gross National Happiness and environmental stewardship. Over half of the country is included in its expansive network of protected areas and biological corridors. Bhutan is also one of three carbon-negative countries in the world. And the constitution mandates that the country have a minimum of 60 percent forest cover at all times. Due to its expansive forest coverage animals like the globally endangered tigers are found not only in lowland jungles in the South, but all the way up to 14,000 ft in the mountains.

In Bhutan, tigers exist in myth, folklore, and reality. Deep inside Central Bhutan, the 1200-year-old Riphel Mebar monastery is believed to have been blessed by Guru Rinpoche and his Bhutanese consort Tashi Khyidren, who was known to have transformed into a flying tigress that transported the Guru to the iconic Tiger’s Nest monastery, perched on a cliff at 10,000 ft. Latest research has confirmed that the area surrounding Riphel Mebar monastery has a thriving population of tigers with some of the highest tiger densities in Bhutan. However, living close to tigers, villagers often lose livestock to the large cats. Yet, there is a high level of tolerance and no retributive killing of the predator.

RESERVATIONS

This will be an in-person lecture at Explorers Club Headquarters, and we are opening a number of tickets to guests.

In-person tickets are $15 for Members and $30 for the General Public.

Check-in will begin at 6:00 pm, with a beer and wine reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

Speakers

Khedrup Rinpoche

Khedrup Rinpoche is the founder and president of the Khedrup Foundation and is also the spiritual leader of the Riphel Mebar monastery. The Foundation supports several educational and humanitarian projects in the community. Khedrup Rinpoche will help connect stories from the past and the significance of the tiger in Bhutanese culture and spirituality.

Tshewang wangchuk

Tshewang Wangchuk is the Executive Director of the Bhutan Foundation that supports the Bhutan Tiger Center’s radio-telemetry study to monitor tigers and its community-based conservation efforts in south-central Bhutan. Tshewang will talk about Bhutan’s tiger conservation success and how that success is related to the Bhutanese culture and context through initiatives such as the hunter-to-hermit program.

Matt DeSantis


Matthew DeSantis is the founder and chair of The Explorers Club Bhutan Chapter. He is the founder of MyBhutan, Bhutan’s boutique luxury travel designer and outfitter, and Beyul Labs, a technology that provides digital products including Bhutan’s first payments platform. Matt also develops various nonprofits in the arts, sports, environment and science spaces.

March 27,2023
March 27, 2023
6:00
6:00
The Explorers Club
The Explorers Club
Guru on a flying tigress Click here to purchase tickets

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May. 27
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Jun. 03
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