Following Pollyanna’s Exhibition 'The Land of the Thunder Dragon’, inspired by her AFC flag expedition, she was very pleased to able to donate US $6,000.00 to the World Wildlife Fund Bhutan through her charitable Foundation.
While in Bhutan Pollyanna had a meeting with Kinzang Mangay the Country representative of WWF Bhutan (above right) at their office in Thimpu, and also Jack Gilmore, the Vice President of Internal Audit (above left) who was on an official visit from WWF USA. She was given a fascinating presentation showing an overview of their work within the kingdom.
The statistics are more than impressive – nearly 78% of the country remains forested, and 26% is set aside in protected reserves. All of the reserves are linked by biological corridors allowing the dispersal of megafauna – including tigers which can be found even at higher altitudes.
Important WWF projects have included surveys which helped to establish Bhutan’s systems of protected areas, and the creation of the country’s first nature study centre. The WWF has also worked with the government on their new written constitution, which includes the remarkable commitment to maintain not less than 60% of its land under forest cover.
Bhutan has also developed an Integrated Conservation and Development programme with assistance from the WWF to allow people living within a protected area to farm, graze animals, and collect firewood in harmony with protection management. The donation from the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation will help fund their community projects which provide solar panels to give an environmentally friendly power source, more efficient stoves, which cut down on fuel consumption, and provide corrugated metal roofing to replace the traditional wooden rooves – these need replacing every few years, necessitating the cutting of trees. Even simple measures like these can have a huge impact on conservation. Some of the funds will also be put towards their Tiger Conservation and anti- poaching programmes.
A smaller amount has also been put aside for the environmental charity Green Dragon, which aims to educate school children about the problems caused by littering, and to start the kingdom’s first recycling programmes.
On returning from Bhutan Pollyanna commented “I have rarely left a country so optimistic for the future of its habitat and wildlife. Assuming Bhutan continues to exist in its current state of relative isolation within the Himalayas it will remain an invaluable sanctuary for some of the world’s most endangered species.” We hope the money raised by the Foundation will contribute in some way towards preserving this unique environment. Fundraising is ongoing.