Taking sustainable livelihoods and climate resilience to the grassroots

Jul 14, 2016

Coming together to enhance sustainability and climate resilience of forest and agricultural landscapes and community livelihoods.

With the second stakeholder consultation underway, UNDP, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Royal Government of Bhutan are another step closer to enhance sustainability, climate resilience and community livelihoods in 37 gewogs across 12 dzongkhags in Bhutan.

A total funding of 13.9 million (planned budget) spread over a six-year period will help the project cover a total land area of 1.2 million hectares in and around the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (JSWNP), Phrumsengla National Park (PNP), Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve (JKSNR) and four biological corridors that connect the protected area network.

According to the UNDP Bhutan project officer, Tshering Penjor, the project will benefit an estimated population of 90,000 to 150,000 living in and around the project area which will also include eight Forest Management Units (FMUs) with 75,000 hectares of forest.

The two-day workshop, starting today, will review and discuss the findings and recommendations of the various assessments that have been done by consultants so far as foundation to formulate activities for the project outputs.

Speaking during the opening session of the workshop, the Director of the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), Thinley Namgay said that the project not just addresses government priorities but also the 2030 development agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The project is in line with SDGs 1 on poverty, 13 on climate action and 15 on biodiversity, forests and desertification, all of which are priority SDGs for Bhutan as the country embarks on the journey towards achieving the 2030 development agenda. 

Highlighting on the project being mainly community-driven, the Director asked those involved in the project formulation to be considerate of the needs of the people at the local levels. “Us, at the center cannot decide what people at the local level want”, he said.

UNDP Bhutan’s Deputy Resident Representative Niamh Collier-Smith said that the collective hope for the project is to set a new standard for delivering integrated development results.

She added that, “By working across sectors that make communities more resilient in face of climate change and at the same time create jobs and advances livelihoods”, Bhutan will progress towards Gross National Happiness and towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

During the course of the stakeholder consultation, participants from the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and other relevant government agencies, along with consultants and experts from UNDP, will examine the relevance, feasibility, sustainability and synergy of the project with other projects and programs to avoid duplication and ensure efficient use of resources.   

Assessments will also be done in reference to the social and environmental standards required off of UNDP-GEF projects and discussions will be held to confirm project management and implementation arrangements.

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For more information, contact;

Tshering Penjor, Project Officer, UNDP Bhutan: tshering.penjor@undp.org

Pushkar Chhetri, Communications Analyst, UNDP Bhutan: pushkar.chhetri@undp.org