Validating the path towards community climate resilience and livelihoods

Sep 22, 2016

Area to be covered by the project.

If things go as planned, by early 2017, communities in 38 gewogs across 12 dzongkhags in central Bhutan will start their journey towards climate action- climate-resilience livelihoods options and better biodiversity conservation through effective biological corridors governance and management systems.

This will be facilitated by the project on ‘Resilient Communities, Effective Biological Corridors (RCEC) -Climate Action in Bhutan’s Central Belt’ with financing from Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by   the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

A project validation workshop was conducted with all relevant stakeholders where draft project document was presented to elicit comments, clarifications and additional information to finalize the project document and related supplementary information.

Opening the validation workshop, Thinley Namgyel, the Secretary of the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) said that the project would not only help to realize national priorities of poverty reduction but also develop climate-resilient and help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The UNDP Bhutan Resident Representative a.i., Niamh Collier-Smith said that by working across sectors making communities more resilient to climate change and by creating jobs and enhancing livelihoods, the project will advance Bhutan’s progress towards Gross National Happiness as well.

To achieve the goals, the project will focus on operationalizing an integrated landscape approach covering a total land area of 1.2 million hectares by enhancing capacity and establishing a governance system for biological corridors and conservation management. 

Nonetheless, although the project focuses on some of the protected areas and biological corridors, it also goes beyond those landscapes since there are communities that are only partially within the PAs and corridors.

Before the validation workshop, a series of bilateral consultations were also carried out. During the process, key central agencies such as GNHC, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) and WWF were also adequately consulted.

Field visits were also made to consult stakeholders from dzongkhags, park officials, territorial forest divisions, range offices, gewog administrations and local communities.

From a regional and global perspective, Bhutan is located at the junction of two major bio-geographic realms that include three global ecoregions such as the Eastern Himalayan Alpine Meadow, Eastern Himalayan Broadleaved and Conifer Forests and the Terai-Duar Savanna and Grasslands.

There are at least 14 bird and 26 mammal species that are globally threatened such as Tiger, Red panda, Golden langur, Capped langur, Wild dog, and Takin and Black-necked crane.

Doley Tshering, the Regional Technical Adviser, Ecosystems and Biodiversity, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub said, “The project will contribute towards successful conservation of these threatened species and the ecosystems.”

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