The launch was a symbolic inauguration to celebrate the opening of the secretariat office which will manage the BFL fund -a USD $43 million fund that will permanently manage Bhutan’s network protected areas.
Dasho Tshering Tobgay awarded certificates of recognition to representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gross National Happiness Commission, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation, Prime Minister’s Office and WWF Bhutan for their contributions to the BFL project.
‘‘Bhutan For Life project is not only to conserve environment and protected areas but also to showcase our rich culture and traditions through environment conservation. By conserving the environment through BFL, we must widespread the profile of our king, country and people’’, said Dasho Tshering Tobgay. “BFL receiving the fund support of Nu. 3 billions is the huge and greatest support that Bhutan had ever received and with this budget, we can conserve and protect environment, parks and other protected areas so that in turn we can attract better numbers of tourist which is the main source of our income”, he added.
Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said, “The successful launch of Bhutan For Life can be attributed to the outstanding dedication of the project team members, the remarkable leadership of the Prime Minister and inspiration of our monarchs which was the guiding force that motivated our collective commitment to preserve Bhutan’s conservation legacy for perpetuity”.
BFL was launched in November 2017. It is a project with USD $43 million, the first of its kind in Asia to permanently protect Bhutan’s network of protected areas which constitute 51% of the country, the highest percentage of land designated as protected in Asia. This funding will be combined with USD $75 million from the Royal Government of Bhutan which will be contributed over a 14-year period, to properly manage Bhutan’s protected areas.
Reported by Karma Loday with photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICTD
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