As Bhutan marks 50 years of membership in the UN, UNDP Bhutan Resident Representative Azusa Kubota reflects on the long standing partnership between Bhutan and UNDP.
The increasing waste is a growing concern for Bhutan and despite the challenges, it has committed to achieve zero waste by 2030. As part of a month-long experimentation on waste segregation behavior using three colored bins with information and feedback (exploratory research), it was established that the right environment encourages people to change behavior. The trial also validated that waste management is a systemic issue.
A project led by the Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) with support from UNDP and KOICA, aimed at enhancing economic empowerment of persons with disabilities provides equipment support to 45 persons with disabilities to enable them to start group businesses.
Electricity in Bhutan is generated mostly from hydropower, an energy source which is renewable unlike fossil-fuel driven power plants that are major contributors to carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Like hydropower, sun is a bountiful resource Bhutan can tap into for producing renewable energy in keeping with our carbon neutrality commitments and also for enhancing energy security through diversification of energy sources. The commissioning and inauguration of the 180kW grid-tied Solar Power Plant marks the start of Bhutan’s investment in grid-tied solar energy as a viable alternative energy source in the face of soaring domestic demand and climate change.
After Bhutan’s remarkably rapid and successful COVID-19 campaign of vaccinating more than 70 percent of the country’s population, managed by the innovative digital Bhutan Vaccine System supported by UNDP, the country turns its focus to ensure that no children between the ages of 12 and 17 are left behind in being vaccinated.
The retreating monsoon clouds roll above Phobjikha valley. Occasionally, the valley receives full sun. That’s when the farmers come out in droves to harvest the fruits of their labour. Potato is the main source of livelihood for the people of Phobjikha. Besides being known for the black-necked crane which roosts in winter, the valley is known for producing potatoes. Since 1970, when potato was introduced to this bucolic valley, farmers have relied on this crop for livelihood. But over the years, the potato has degenerated and is now susceptible to blight, potato leaf roll virus and mosaic viruses. These infections greatly reduce yield. Titled “Youth Matters: Voices and Action in Climate Change”, the objective of series IV was to listen to the concerns of the youth around climate issues, their initiatives and actions against the crisis, and to ensure the assimilation of their world view into climate solutions.
Bhutan begins the journey to mainstream biodiversity conservation into the tourism development and position itself as “a model ecotourism destination” with the launch of the implementation of USD 4.854 million ecotourism project today. The project is timely and comes at a time when Bhutan rethinks tourism in the wake of COVID-19 and the tourism sector, hit hard by the pandemic, strives to make a comeback to rebuild lives and livelihoods through a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive tourism economy.

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