August 11, 2021

Recently, 16 members of the Snow Leopard Conservation Group from Soe Gewog under Thimphu district underwent training on weaving traditional yak-hair tents known as Bja.

The training is one of the efforts to preserve and revive the use of traditional tents in the high-lander community of the Jomolhari region. As residents started using the lighter and cheaper tarpaulin sheets, the use of traditional Bja has significantly reduced. Over time, this also contributed to more waste from the flimsy tarpaulin sheets which littered the mountainside.

To improve the herders’ living conditions and to prevent littering, the Foundation supplied improved tents to Snow Leopard conservation communities in Soe, Lingzhi, and Yaksa communities in the past. We hope the improved tents will soon have traditional yak hair outer layers.

The training program on weaving traditional Bja, aimed to revive this skill among the highlanders in the region was implemented by the Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) with support from GEF Small Grants Programme in Bhutan, and the Bhutan Foundation.

We have distributed about 78 improved tents to Lingzhi, Bumthang, Soe, and Yaktsa highlanders since 2018. Read the full story.