Short-term professional training courses are vital not only for the agencies to enhance their efficacy but also for the personal growth of an individual professionally to become even more valued member of the team. Occasional participation of the employees in various need-based professional training will also prepare him/her for professional advancement within the agency, which helps tackle the issues arising within the agency. In Bhutan, we are lucky have our visionary monarchs who have provided unprecedented leadership to take the country forward. Within our civil service, we are more lucky to have this system of nurturing the employees by giving them opportunity to pursue numerous workshops and training both within and outside the country. Such need of professional development are recognized by His Majesty the King himself and gives more emphasis on individual professionalism and leadership as stated "What we need is not a leader to lead the masses - we need leadership of the self." Realizing the need to regularly update the professional knowledge of the individuals in the the complicated, globalized and sophisticated world, and to tackle the emerging challenges with innovative ideas and solutions, Bhutan are lucky to have institution such as Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies established as envisioned by His Majesty the King, which now provide high quality education and discourses to our leaders at different stages. Therefore, there is no denying to the fact that professional development opportunities of varying degree is necessary for every individual in the agency.
When I first joined my professional career as Forestry Officer at JSWNP after my undergraduate studies, the first task assigned to me was take up managing the then existing conservation project. The professional knowledge that I obtained from the University were diverse but were mostly related to my field of study, that is Forestry. I doesn't have a vague idea of how project should be managed, its reporting protocols, the monitoring and evaluation and most importantly maintaining the much needed healthy relationship between donor and our agency. Constant guidance from the immediate leader is deemed necessary to get myself groomed and nurture into an effective employee. My boss, realizing the paramount role that I was playing in managing the conservation project, have given me the opportunity to enhance my professional knowledge in species conservation and monitoring at the Smithsonian Institutions in USA in my second year of service.
While initially I was only excited to go out and get better exposure, I instantly realized the investment that is being put in me, I could feel the heavy weight coming along with the opportunity. I was also given with the privilege to get myself trained in Tiger radio collaring process at a Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand by the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research, but unfortunately our implementation of the same failed back at home despite our rigorous and enthusiastic effort to radio collar tiger for a month in Royal jungle of Manas. Hon'ble Director General of the Department was also being farsighted enough to have young officers attend the dialogue of conservation when I was a part of delegation lead by HE the Agriculture and Forests Minister during the 3rd Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation. Besides, I also availed many in country training and workshops within the short duration of three and half year service. Being an early career conservationist, the professional training were a strong impetus for me to perform better, and I have the contentment that I gave my best professional commitment, of course excepting certain degree of follies in my working nature. Personally, each training and certification were always a way to built up my resume and get myself advanced with more value addition.
Today I am glad to have attended a professional training offered by the esteemed Durrell Conservation Academy, an institution that strives to save species from extinction. Since my first hands on job entailed dealing with conservation projects, I was very keen to attend this course and I am glad I could make to it. The course was designed to strengthen the project management and leadership skills of conservation and natural resource professionals. The five day training held at the much David Attenbough building of Cambridge Conservation Initiatives touched various aspects of personal leadership and management skills, team forming and team decision, project formulation, monitoring and evaluation, risk management and dealing with failures, and many more important aspects. It helped me look back into my past experiences for contemplation and incorporate the new lessons in my upcoming research projects. The course shows direction to early career conservationists for for managing and leading conservation projects.
I was able to attend this training through the financial support rendered by German Bhutan Himalaya Society and I remain indebted to its members, who are more than Friends of Bhutan. My special thanks are due to Mr. Reinherd Wolf, the President of the Society for facilitating with my proposition. I also thank the course instructors from Durrell and Fauna & Flora International for being so generous in sharing their expertise.
Upcoming quality professional training can be found at (click on the links) Smithsonian Institutions and Durrell Conservation Academy.