Karma Wangdi


Karma Wangdi is a forester working under the Department of Forests and Park Services, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, at the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment. With over 25 years of dedicated service, Karma has contributed significantly to the promotion, understanding and conservation of Bhutan’s natural heritage.

Karma’s most significant achievement has been the re-discovery of the Ludlow’s Swallowtail (Bhutanitis ludlowi) in 2009, at Tobrang in Trashiyangtse, seventy six years after two known samples were collected from the area, by Frank Ludlowi, a British botanist, in 1933. After Karma’s re-discovery, the Ludow’s Swallowtail has been designated as Bhutan’s national butterfly, and was also gifted by His Majesty the King to the Butterfly Society of Japan.

In collaboration with the Naturalis of the Netherlands and the National Biodiversity Center of Bhutan, Karma further discovered a total of 60 moth species; of which 34 are new to Bhutan; and 26 are new to science. Karma has published books on butterflies and moths of Bhutan, and continues to contribute to promoting science and conservation in Bhutan, and the wider Himalayan region.

Past Awards

The Jigme Singye Wangchuck Outstanding Environmental Stewardship Award (JSW-OESA) is conferred once every two years. It honours individuals, groups and institutions from all backgrounds for a lifetime of contribution towards ensuring the security and sustainability of Bhutan's pristine environment. It particularly merits people who have gone beyond the normal call-of-duty in their service towards environmental protection.