29 July 2011, Thimphu: The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (MPIO) and the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE) with the objective to start a scientific cooperation and recognizing the high potential of cooperation in the area of high-altitude ecology, particularly altitudinal migration.
The MoU was signed by Mr. Nawang Norbu, Director of UWICE and Dr. Martin Wikelski, Director, MPIO, Germany in presence of His Excellency, Lyonpo Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Forests.
Through this MoU, the institutions will carry out joint research projects; organize joint seminars, symposia, and other scientific meetings. The Institutions will also facilitate exchange of scientists and carryout other appropriate cooperative activities necessary for implementing joint research and capacity building of the UWICE faculty.
Hon’ble Lyonpo said, MoU between MPIO and UWICE is yet another evolution for UWICE for its research initiatives and to realise UWICE into a center of excellence. Lyonpo said, he hopes to see long term economic and ecological collaboration with MPIO. Lyonpo further added that Bhutan being a small country has no option to go industrial, instead, going for green economy best suites our long term goal to conserve the fragile mountain ecology.
Professor Martin said, Germany also has many things to learn from Bhutan, especially, on how to connect with the animals in the wild and going for green economy, since, Germany has already started to divert from atomic to green energy. Professor Martin highlighted on space observatory for animal movement and monitoring as another possible area of collaboration.
The MoU is valid for a period of three years but can subsequently be extended for another five years under mutual agreement by both institutions.
While in Bhutan, Dr. Martin, will visit the UWICE and Sengor, in Bumthang to see the ongoing research on High Altitude Bird Migration jointly supported by MPIO.