Bhutan to implement world’s largest Climate Change Adaptation Project under LDC Fund

18 Apr 2014

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Bhutan will soon implement the largest Climate Change Adaptation project in the World. The project, titled - “Addressing the Risks of Climate-induced Disasters through Enhanced National and Local Capacity for Effective Actions” is the second adaptation project in Bhutan funded through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) administered by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with an investment of US $ 11,491,200 (Nu. 712,454,400). The first was the Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) mitigation project in Lunana from 2008 to 2013 with UNDP as the implementing agency.

The project document was jointly signed between UNDP, Gross National Happiness Commission and the National Environment Commission at Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu Bhutan.

The project is designed to respond to immediate and urgent climate change adaptation needs prioritized through the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) published in 2006. Key areas of focus will be on effective measures to reduce flood and landslide risks in Phuentsholing and the neighboring industrial estate of Pasakha. Consequently it will build community resilience by designing and building systems for water harvesting, storage and distribution in selected villages. The project is also expected to improve the quality, analysis and dissemination of climate information on a timely and reliable manner to respond to extreme weather events. This will involve expanding and upgrading the network of meteorological stations for real-time weather observation and forecasting, and strengthening the National Weather and Flood Forecasting and Warning Center.

UNDP’s Karma Rapten, Head of the Environment and Disaster Management Unit said, “The project will enhance national, local and community capacity to prepare for and respond to climate-induced multi-hazards to reduce potential losses of human lives, national economic infrastructure, livelihoods and livelihood assets. The project has been designed to address the immediate and urgent climate change adaptation needs prioritized through the update of the NAPA undertaken in 2011, involving review and updating of the earlier NAPA produced in 2006.”

Ms. Sonam L. Khandu, the Project Manager said, “Adaptation interventions for the impacts of climate change on Bhutan were identified in the 2006 NAPA document and we are now pleased to see steady and progressive support being provided through the LDCF to implement these urgent interventions.”

The project will be implemented by various implementing partners from different sectors, the Phuentsholing Thromde and Tarayana Foundation and will be coordinated by the National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS).  The UNDP will provide technical and advisory support as well as help management of the project during the implementation period (2014-2017).

Contact Information

Karma Lodey Rapten         
Head, Environment & Disaster Management
UNDP Bhutan
karma.rapten@undp.org

Wangchuk Namgay            
GNHC Secretariat                   
Thimphu – Bhutan                    
wnamgay@gnhc.gov.bt        

Sonam Lhaden Khandu
NEC Secretariat
Thimphu-Bhutan
sonamlk@nec.gov.bt