Nature for all - an inclusive nature garden for persons with disabilities (PWDs)
Nature for all - an inclusive nature garden for persons with disabilities (PWDs)
As of today, Bhutan doesn’t have an all-inclusive nature park or for that matter a nature recreational park or a botanical park. While there are urban playgrounds and parks, it is by far, least user-friendly for persons with disabilities (PwDs) in terms of accessibility, facilities, and information. There has been great effort in recent years to make such urban recreational areas more user friendly and safe for PwDs.
Urban places such as Thimphu, also have botanical garden such as Servithang Botanical Garden and has access to Lamperi Botanical Park (one-hour drive from Thimphu) which are great get away places for all. However, these nature areas don’t not have the best facilities for PwDs such as wheelchair users, persons with blindness, persons with speech difficulties or deafness.
Research shows that contact with nature has significant personal and societal health and well-being benefits. Our connections with nature also influence the way we behave. During these times of COVID-19 pandemic physical distancing and self-isolation, connecting and experiencing nature may not be easy. There are very limited options for PwDs for outdoor activities.
The project aims to bring PwDs closer to nature and let them experience nature through various available means experimented in other parts of the world through various initiatives and one being the Nature for All movement. The project, through the Zhenphen Group (Youth group with persons with blindness and other PwDs) intends to make the Royal Botanical Garden in Servithang, Thimphu more friendly and accessible to PwDs through universal design (ramp, railing [rope, wood or metal], tactile, braille interpretation, PwD friendly toilet, sign language videos etc). The Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) and Disabled Persons Organization of Bhutan (DPAB) will provide the technical support for the project while the National Biodiversity Center (NBC), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests will provide the administrative and technical support at the park.
As per the latest PHCB (2017) 2.1 percent of the population or 15,567 persons are disabled. In Bhutan there are 464 persons who are completely blind, 2,696 persons with low vision and 20,828 some difficulty in seeing. Approximately 200 low vision and complete blind people live in Thimphu alone.
Number of people who cannot hear (deaf) in Bhutan below the age of 30 is 103, number of people who can understand Bhutanese Sign Language (BSL) is 135 and number of people who can read and write both Dzongkha and English is 209.
The project, implemented by a youth group called Zhenphen group, seeks to enhance the accessibility of the Royal Botanical Garden for persons with disabilities and bring nature closer to them. The project has the following objectives.
Objective 1. Institutional development of Zhenphen group
Objective 2. Universal design (accessibility) at Servithang Botanical Garden for persons with disabilities to enhance their experience with nature.
Objective 3. Communication and outreach for advocacy and awareness on PwDs
Objective 4. Capacity development of the group for sustainability through support of procurement of musical equipment and training in use of the instruments.

 

Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Zhenphen Group (youth group composed of PwDs)
Country:
Bhutan
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Grant Amount:
US$ 30,380.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 500.00
Project Number:
BHU/SGP/OP7/Y1/CORE/BD/2021/06
Status:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
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SGP Country office contact

Mr. Tenzin Wangchuk
Phone:
009752322424
Email:
Mr. Tshering Phuntsho
Phone:
009752322424 (ext:330)
Email:

Address

UN House, Peling Lam (Street), Kawajangsa, Thimphu, P.O. Box No. 162
Thimphu, Bhutan, 11001