NRDCL welcomes the New Chief Executive Officer

Effective 1 September 2017, Sonam Wangchuk has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Natural Resources Development Ltd. (NRDCL). 

He was selected through open competition following corporate norms of NRDCL and its parent company, Druk Holding and Investments Ltd. (DHI). He will be the company’s fifth chief executive since its incorporation under DHI in 2007.                          

In selecting Sonam Wangchuk, NRDCL and DHI have emphasized the importance of orienting the company’s growth along the lines of environmental conservation and sustainable development. As the sole natural resources company owned and managed by DHI, NRDCL is mandated to sustainably manage and utilize Bhutan’s natural resources to benefit all Bhutanese. The appointment of a scientifically trained and experienced professional from the environmental conservation sector to lead NRDCL is an important development.

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CEO joins new Office                                    Handing Taking of Charge

Sonam Wangchuk is a trained forester and conservationist, with almost 29 years of field-based and managerial experience from the government’s forestry sector. He joins NRDCL from the Department of Forests and Parks Services, where he headed its nature conservation division since 2012. He was one of the earliest staff involved in planning Bhutan’s protected areas system in the early 1990’s, and for many years led field research and inventories throughout the country. He managed Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, the then-Thrumshingla National Park, and oversaw project co-ordination for financial sustainability of protected areas at the centre.

Sonam Wangchuk trained as a forest ranger in Darjeeling (India), attended numerous courses in various academic centres, and received a Masters’ degree from Yale University. For his conservation work, in 2016 he received the Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award from the World Commission on Protected Areas. In December 2004, he was a collective recipient of the Druk Wangyal Medal from His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, as the sole volunteer from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests during the 2003 counter-insurgency military operations.

Sonam Wangchuk is excited for the opportunity to contribute further to nation building. He said, “I see my appointment to NRDCL as a homecoming. I began my career as a forest ranger at NRDCL in May 1988, and am returning 25 years later with a rich portfolio of experiences. I am grateful to NRDCL and DHI for this opportunity, and am confident about leading NRDCL to profitability, not only along commercial lines, but to serve the vision of the Golden Throne to ensure our natural resources always benefit our people.” Not wanting to loose time, he began his task on the very next day with the meeting of Heads of Division and Regional Managers on 2 September, 2017. A visit to Sha Regional Office mainly to discuss on sand extraction and supply including Gogona timber extraction site was conducted from 7-8, September 2017. This followed shortly with another visit to Gedu, Phuentsholing, Samtse and Gomtu where the counterparts from the Department of Forest and Park Services were closely consulted to explore and market the emerging opportunities of river borne materials.

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     Timber extraction site at Gogona                    Sand dredging site inspection at Rinchengang

The NRDCL family is pleased to welcome the new CEO to head the company. Many ongoing activities are new to the company, and it needs a seasoned and experienced hand for achieving the mandate bestowed to NRDCL. The NRDCL staff would like to affirm our commitment to work with the CEO with renewed vigour, co-operation and commitment to carry forward the activities and improve the overall performance and image of the company.  

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                   With staff in Sha Regional Office                       Visit to river bed boulders and sand site at Gomtu