KARMA TSHERING, CEO and Founder obtained his Masters in Resource Management from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and PhD in sustainable tourism from the University of Sydney, Australia. Candid and passionate he has had an array of interesting and enriching experiences. Interning for 6 months in some of the prominent US national parks including the iconic ones like Yellowstone NP; evaluating tourists campsites in Masai Mara and Serengeti; travelling the length and breath of his country; conducting tiger surveys in the humid grasslands of Nepal, etc.. During his 20 plus years working for the conservation sector for the government of Bhutan under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests he has made some significant contributions in playing the key role in forging institutional partnerships/linkages with external agencies, institutionalizing ecotourism and nature recreation within the forestry management, coordinating the first tiger census for Bhutan, and promoting integrated conservation/development programs in the protected areas of Bhutan. He believes that progressive development can be easily met simply through pragmatic approaches, consensus and partnerships. Recognizing the huge potential tourism can offer to complement Bhutan’s overarching development philosophy of Gross National Happiness he recently founded the Bhutan Sustainable Tourism Society www.bhutantourismsociety.com as a platform for fostering partnerships and promoting and strengthening sustainable tourism development in Bhutan. He also serves as an evaluator/judge for the National Geographic unique lodges program and legacy awards; Board member in the Asian Ecotourism Network; representative for Travelife to promote sustainability in tourism, and member of explorers club – Bhutan chapter. Besides his professional work he also invests his time to undertake charity and social works through the support of his family. To read more of his thoughts on sustainable tourism and conservation check out his interview at https://sustainability-leaders.com/interview-karma-tshering-bhutan/
STEVE NOAKES A leading advocate for sustainable tourism practices across Asia and the Pacific. He has been involved in the tourism & travel industry for some four decades and works across commercial, NGO and academic/research sectors. He has commercial interests in ecolodges in Indonesia and Australia, tour operations in Indonesia and Melanesia and the international project management company, Pacific Asia Tourism. He has played an active leadership role in international not-for-profits such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Sustainable Travel International and PATA. In Australia, he is an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University and a Visiting Professor in Sustainable Tourism and Indigenous Culture at Bond University and, in the Nordic countries, a Visiting Professor (Sustainable Tourism) at the University of Lapland and Visiting Professor (Business Economics) at the Arctic University of Norway.
DAVID DARLINGTON, BA Earth Sciences/Dip EdDavid (Dave) has over 30 years experience in park management in NSW Australia.
Dave in his role as Regional Manager with NSW Australia National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), co-managed formal collaborative agreements in conservation and sustainable recreation management with the Royal Government of Bhutan, Department of Forests & Park Services and NPWS.
In 2014/15 Dave worked as an Australian Government volunteer attached to Bhutan’s Department of Forests & Parks Services. He provided staff capacity building in sustainable recreation, eco-design infrastructure, signage design standards, development of Nature Recreational Area Planning Guidelines and design principles for mountain bike / shared use trail developments.
Dave has travelled and worked extensively across Bhutan and has an excellent understanding of protected area and sustainable tourism opportunities and issues. As a Senior NPWS Manager Dave had leadership responsibility for strategic management, staff and budget development, asset management, sustainable tourism, business management, infrastructure development, forest fire / incident management and stakeholder engagement.
PAT has been involved in field-based environmental education and interpretation for over 30 years. She established and managed an environmental education centre for over 20 years in Kosciuszko National Park, Australia. Pat assisted in developing Bhutan’s Royal Botanical Park’s visitor information centre interpretation in 2007 and was an Australian Aid volunteer with Bhutan’s Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division, Dept of Forests and Park Services for 12 months in 2014-5. She has travelled widely throughout Bhutan since her first visit to Bhutan in 2005 and presented staff training workshops in Bhutan for park staff and teachers on many occasions.
Pat holds a BA (Environmental Science), Dip Ed and Dip of Tourism (Tour Guiding). She was awarded a Public Service Medal (PSM) by the Australian Government for her contribution to environmental education and services to Bhutan in 2012.
DAGO TSHERING holds several years of experience as a graphic designer. He leads a team of 8 staff with whom all the designing and printing needs are done. From brochures and pamphlets to large scale printing of posters and books are undertaken with high quality equipment and technology.
TEJAS JOSEPH A practitioner of Responsible Tourism holds a Masters in English Literature from India and worked in advertising and marketing before finding his stride as a sociologist working with NGOs in the fields of renewable energy, social forestry, organic farming and the setting up of social enterprises. His interest in sustainability was awakened and nurtured profoundly after coming to live in Auroville (an international township in southern India (www.auroville.org) since the mid 90s. Upon entering the world of tourism and hospitality in 2010 he currently serves as an advisor to a leading small luxury resort chain in south India (www.orangecounty.in) overseeing the integration of sustainable practices in their day-to-day operations that help to define milestones for the meaningful expression of Responsible Tourism (RT) that the group is committed to. In the years following, his strategies and interventions (technological and community based) have progressively elevated the environmental and social benchmarks of the resorts, culminating in the winning of the prestigious World Legacy award from National Geographic in March 2015 under the category “Earth Changers”. He is also instrumental in developing blue prints for social enterprises with marked environmental and social leanings.
Tejas is also an advisor and trainer for EarthCheck International, a global certifying agency (www.earthcheck.org).
NAMGAY PHUNTSHO TSHERING graduated from Colby-Sawyer College, New Hampshire, USA, with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. His primary interests are in the field of research and social work, both of which were groomed during his internship with Save the Children. During his month long internship, he surveyed the efficacy of the Youth Centers in Bhutan, identifying user patterns and giving proposals on how the centers could best meet their desired goals. In addition to this, his senior thesis was a research study on the extent to which different cultures socialized its individuals into displaying different levels of compliance. He serves as an active and passionate intern since the inception of the company prior to this he also interned with a local travel company. He has assisted Eco-Call with its projects in surveys, data analysis and report writing.
JIMMY TENZING TSHERING graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Agriculture. Jimmy has a vast experience working in several firms from a young age undertaking diverse responsibilities building up his work ethics and professionalism. He works as a research assistant involved in preparing tenders, project management, assisting in developing work plans, and data analysis. He also holds extra responsibilities in administration and office management with EcoCall services.