May 27, Thimphu: The Hon’ble Agriculture Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji launched the REDD+ Readiness Project at the Ministry’s conference hall which will be coordinated by the Watershed Management Division (WMD).
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, and Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forest and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+) is a global initiative to reduce carbon emissions from forests and enhance carbon absorption. It was conceived as a mitigation mechanism to combat climate change in the meeting of Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The project will help to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and ensure conservation, sustainable management and enhancement of forest. It will strengthen the existing forest policy and management systems, information and data, participatory methods and other human and institutional capacity as well as prepare Bhutan to engage in and benefit from the potentially emerging performance-based system from REDD+.
At the launching, Lyonpo said that REDD+ goes well with Bhutan’s existing forestry conservation goals and strategies as the environmental conservation is the highest priority in Bhutan with the need to maintain 60% forest cover for all times to come. He added that the project is an opportunity to strengthen the required technical capacity and information management system.
REDD+ is a three year project starting from July 2014-June 2018 with a budget of USD 4.703 million from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, World Bank and other donors. It will be implemented by WMD and Forest Resource Management Division in three phases.
To ensure that Bhutan’s REDD+ strategy is in line with the national policies, the task force and technical working groups with representatives from the relevant stakeholders have been formed who will also frame the measures for securing the people’s livelihood.
With the project in place, Bhutan will come up with national REDD+ strategy and implementation framework including the national forest monitoring system, forest reference (emission) level, monitoring, reporting and verification mechanism and safeguard information system for REDD+.
The meeting was also attended by the representatives from the World Bank, UNDP, FAO, WWF and JICA along with the heads and senior officials from the Ministry.
Tshering Doma with photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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