Tuesday, 29 March 2022: The Gross National Happiness Commission (GNCH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS) and with support from UNDP Bhutan virtually launched the National Stakeholder Consultations leading up to the Stockholm+50 meeting.
Scheduled on 2nd and 3rd of June 2022, the week of World Environment Day, the Stockholm+50, a major international environmental meeting will bring together the global environmental community in Stockholm, Sweden. It will be held under the theme “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity.”
The Stockholm+50 commemorates 50 years since the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, which made the environment, a pressing global issue for the first time. The 1972 UN Conference shaped every international conference and treaty on environment over the last 50 years. It linked environmental protection with sustainable development and produced concrete ideas on how governments could work together to pursue environmental commitments and practicalise policies.
Five decades after the historic 1972 UN Conference, the Stockholm+50 now calls for an inclusive approach that reflects the richness and diversity of voices and perspectives of various stakeholder groups, including local governments, civil society, women, indigenous peoples and local communities, faith-based groups, academia, youth, industry, finance, and philanthropic foundations. It also aims to help accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals during the Decade of Action and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participating countries, therefore, are mandated to produce a national report based on consultations with relevant stakeholders and make a national stance for the meeting.
“The NECS, as the custodian of Bhutan’s environmental legislations and multilateral environmental agreements with core environmental mandates, remains committed to the principles and objectives of Stockholm+50. We call on all stakeholders to come together and act for a healthy planet and prosperity for all, accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and Multilateral Environment Agreements through an inclusive green recovery,” said Sonam P. Wangdi, Secretary, NECS.
“Our actions today will go a long way in securing a green and sustainable future for generations to come. We remain ready to lead, contribute and partner with our stakeholders in this endeavor.”
With the governments of Sweden and Kenya co-hosting the Stockholm+50 meeting in June, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the lead UN agency working closely with UNDP to ensure that the meeting is informed by broad engagement with all stakeholders.
“I am heartened to see the level of ambition that you have in Bhutan to conduct the National Consultations,” said Mr. Gautam Bhattacharyya, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden in New Delhi, India.
He said inclusivity is at the heart of the national stakeholder consultations for Stockholm+50. “This approach is central to re-imagining a common and prosperous future on a healthy planet. Bhutan is already seen as a pioneer in climate action and environment conservation, and we would like Bhutan to continue on this path.”
The Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Bhutan, Khurshid Alam extended UNDP’s appreciation to the Government of Sweden for hosting the world’s first environmental conference in 1972 and the 50th anniversary in June. “The Government of Sweden remains a vital partner and champion on global cause of planetary health and great supporter of multilateralism including a great friend of UNDP. I also extend my thanks to the Royal Government of Bhutan for playing a pivotal role on the global stage and remaining the world’s lighthouse in terms of ‘doing development differently’ with a planet first approach.”
The launch event, which was livestreamed on UNDP Bhutan Facebook today was aimed at sensitizing government, non-government organizations, private sector and the citizens on the significance of the Stockholm+50 meeting. It is also to promote and enhance national ownership of the stakeholder consultation process. The launch will be followed by a series of interactive and highly consultative stakeholder consultation meetings on key environmental issues in the renewable natural resources, energy, industry, and waste sectors.
The theme for discussions follows the stakeholder map developed and agreed upon to by the Working Group on Stockholm+50. The working group comprises members from GNHC, MoFA, NECS and UNDP.
Mr. Dhendrup Tshering, Assistant Programme Coordinator, Gross National Happiness Commission, Mobile: +975 1790 8185, email@example.com
Ms. Phuntsho Namgay, Communications and Advocacy Consultant, UNDP Bhutan, Mobile: +975 77670 943, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.