At its 23rd Board Meeting held on 7 th July, 2019, the GCF had approved $25.3 million in support of Bhutan’s efforts to prepare and adapt to climate change and ensuring that Bhutan is heading towards low carbon and climate-resilient developments.
“As a mountainous agricultural country, climate change is proving extremely disruptive and expensive for Bhutan. Flooding and landslides during monsoon have caused extensive damages to vital infrastructure like roads, access to market, and rural livelihoods. Conversely, during the dry season, there has been an increasing pressure on drinking and irrigation water” said Mr. Thinley Namgyel, Secretary of Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and GCF National Designated Authority (NDA) in Bhutan. He also said that the financing support has come at the right time in helping to bridge the resource gap of the 12 th plan and addressing
climate change issues, particularly in the Agriculture sector which is one of the priority sectors in the 12 th plan.
RGoB in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP) had accessed the above fund.
“Bhutan’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) highlights that the rural poor will be hit the hardest by climate change and its related impacts. This project is focused on meeting the challenges,” said Ms. Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative of UNDP Bhutan. “With a long history of partnership with the GNHC, both at the policy and community levels, UNDP is pleased to support this project implementation.”
The project would primarily benefit the rural communities through provision of sustainable land and water management, more climate-resilient irrigation and agriculture, and climate-resilient roads. The project will also work with government agencies to mainstream climate change risks into land and water management planning. In addition to supporting the 12 th plan, the project is in coherence with the Sustainable Development Goals – including no poverty (SDG 1), gender equality (SDG 5), reduced inequalities (SDG 10), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), climate action (SDG 13) – and aligns well with Bhutan’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the global Paris Agreement.
By the end of the project, it is anticipated that over 400km of roads will be climate-proofed, 8,000 hectares of farmland will have reliable climate-resilient irrigation schemes, and crop yields would be increased by 30%.
GNHC and UNDP will provide strategic and oversight roles to the project while local governments and agencies like National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology, Department of
Agriculture, Department of Industry, Department of Forest and Park Services, and Department of
Roads will implement the project.
The project implementation is expected to begin from January 2020 and complete by 31 st
GNHC/NDA acknowledges GCF Secretariat, UNDP and all other relevant government agencies,
including RGoB Mission Offices for the solidarity and team work in successfully securing thefund.