12th April, 2019. THIMPHU, BHUTAN: The Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat and the Bhutan for Life (BFL) Fund Secretariat signed a grant agreement for operationalizing the Bhutan for Life Initiative. The signing ceremony was carried out in the presence of representatives of Bhutan for Life’s key partners – the World Wildlife Fund and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
With the signing of this grant agreement, the BFL Fund Secretariat commits an amount of Nu. 2.4 billion to the Royal Government of Bhutan. In conformity of the BFL program’s annual plans, the funds will be released annually over the program period of 14 years. The program will ensure that there is adequate funding to properly manage Bhutan’s protected areas, which constitute over 51 percent of the country, the highest percentage of land designated as protected in Asia.
At the signing ceremony the Executive Director of the BFL Fund Secretariat, Dr. Pema Wangda said, “Bhutan for Life as a true testament of our monarchs’ unwavering dedication to preserving Bhutan’s unparalleled conservation legacy. It is yet another gift to the people of Bhutan”.
The grant agreement signing follows a three day BFL/Green Climate Fund inception workshop convened from 8 to 10 April, 2019 at Thimphu.
The GNHC Secretary Mr. Thinley Namgyel said, “BFL is the first GCF supported project for Bhutan in partnership with RGOB and WWF. This project will go a long way in financing climate change adaptation and mitigation actions of the 12th plan and beyond.” The GNHC thanked all donors and stakeholders supporting BFL – including WWF US, WWF Bhutan, and BTFEC.
The Bhutan for Life initiative was launched by Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema on 11th November, 2017 and the BFL fund secretariat was established through the Royal Charter granted by the His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on 27th July, 2018.
Bhutan for Life is a ‘Project Finance for Permanence (PFP)’ mechanism to provide sustained flow of fund to effectively manage Bhutan’s protected areas and biological corridors. The program was initiated by the Royal Government of Bhutan and the World Wildlife Fund with a common vision of ensuring sustainable financing of Bhutan’s rich biodiversity and ecosystem of its mosaic of conservation space – the protected areas and biological corridors
The Bhutan for Life Fund is supported by the generous contribution from the Green Climate Fund, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation, individual donors, foundations, the World Wildlife Fund and co-financing from the Global Environment Facility and the Royal Government of Bhutan.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Wangchuk Namgay, Chief Program Officer,
Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat
Ms. Kunzang Choden, Manager – Programs,
Bhutan for Life Fund Secretariat