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Development: The Netherlands in Bhutan
SNV in Bhutan
Conservation and development are often seen as antagonists, more conservation means less development and vice versa. They are the exclusive domains of different organisations, each holding their position and struggling to get the upper hand. Many feel that SNV, as a development organisation should take side in this: bring development into conservation, but not vice versa. A National Park, an environmental action plan, or even the concept of sustainable development should not stand in the way of the poor. The present document aims to tell a different story. It is a case study on how conservation and development can go hand in hand, more conservation leading to more development.
SNV in Bhutan
Netherlands Development Organisation
Netherlands Development Organisation SNV
An important policy decision in Bhutan is that among these, emphasis is on the first objective:
maintaining the ecological integrity of the ecosystem as a whole, rather than species protection. This is reflected in the creation of large Protected Areas with relatively little human presence.


Community tourism along the Nabji Trail - Example of sustainable rural tourism
Community tourism in Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park

A team of DOT, NCD, ABTO and SNV staff decided to explore the possibility of community-operated trekking trails that would provide additional income for local communities residing in the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (JSWPN) (Bhutan's protected areas), which is located in one of the poorest districts in Bhutan. More than 90 per cent of the inhabitants of some villages inside the park lack self-sufficiency in cereals, and their location inside a national park limits their opportunities for earning cash income.

Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park Community tourism - Nabji Trail
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Source: SNV Key Achievements
Nabji Tourism Trail
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In only three months, the project has generated an estimated US$ 7,000;
This amount is estimated to increase to about US$ 10,000 in 2007;
In 2006, approximately 210 households in six villages received a supplementary income from the tourist trail;
Part of the income from the project was paid into the Community Development Funds to fund communal expenses;
The project has shown great potential for increasing gender equality, although this is yet to be fully realised.
Source: SNV

The highlights of the Nabji trekking trailinclude visits to small Bhutanese mountain villages and the Monpa ethnic group, diverse forests of the park, and possible sightings of endangered and vulnerable species such as the golden langur and rufous-necked hornbill.

The village communities along the trekking trail, namely the villages of Nimshong, Nabji, Korphu, Kupdra/Phrumzor and Jangbi, have expressed enthusiasm for the project and agreed to establish tourism management committees to plan and manage sustainable tourism development.

The committees are supported by the JSWNP staff, with the training, coaching and technical advice of the SNV adviser, DoT and ABTO.

Expected income per village and tourist
Graphic Expected income per village and tourist in USD
For more information on Community tourism along the Nabji Trail in the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park - An example of sustainable rural tourism development in Bhutan:
Source: SNV 2007
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