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  • Country Director, ADB Bhutan meets Sanam Lyonpo

    13 March, Thimphu: Ms. Kanokpan Lao-Araya, the Country Director for Asian Development Bank (ADB) Bhutan called on the Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo, Yeshey Penjor.

    The meeting discussed the development opportunities in terms of irrigation, roads and bank loans among others. The Country Director shared that there are many areas where ADB can contribute and agriculture sector is one of the areas.

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  • GIS training for highland livestock officials

    An advocacy-cum-training on geographic information system (GIS) was carried out for the highland livestock officials from 3-7 March at the National Highland Research & Development Centre (NHRDC) Jakar, Bumthang. It was aimed to build the capacity of officials on the application of GIS tool in highland livestock development activities.

    It was attended by 38 highland officials from NHRDC, National Research and Development Centre for Animal Nutrition, National Horse Breeding Farm and Integrated Yak Breeding Centre, Haa. Participants were introduced to QGIS free software and its application in general context. They also learn to install QGIS software, create maps, print quality maps using composer, create shape files, joining data, editing attribute table, geo processing tool (clipping and buffering) and importing and exporting data from QGIS to google earth and vis-a-vis. They further learn to gather field information using mobile SW maps and downloading the data to QGIS.

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  • Notification to mitigate risks and prevent spread of COVID-19

    The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country was detected on 5 March 2020. Consequently, given the rapidly evolving situation and significant risks posed by COVID-19 to the people and residents of Bhutan and with a view to mitigate risks and prevent the spread of the virus, the following notification is issued for immediate and strict implementation by all relevant agencies.

    1. Issuance of e-Visa/e-permit to nationals from countries affected by COVID-19 or those persons that have visited or transited through COVID-19 affected countries stands suspended till further notice.
    2. Visa on arrival for eligible foreign nationals stands suspended till further notice.
    3. Issuance of new work permits to nationals from countries affected by COVID-19 or if such persons have visited or transited through COVID-19 affected countries stands suspended till further notice.
    4. Renewal of work-permit for foreign workers who are already in the country shall be facilitated.
    5. Re-entry of all foreigners holding valid visas, work permits and the other immigration permits traveling to Bhutan from any of the COVID-19 affected countries or if they have visited or transited through COVID-19 affected countries stands suspended till further notice.
    6. Government clearance to host events such as car rallies, seminars, trade fairs and workshops in the country stands suspended till further notice.
    7. All mass gatherings must be deferred till further directives.

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  • Workshop on Bhutan Biosafety Clearing House underway in Paro

    3-5 March, Paro: A training workshop on ‘National biosafety repository tools’ is underway in Paro. The training is aimed to obtain the information and access to global biosafety information repositories such as Biosafety Clearing House (BCH), FAO GM Foods platform and OECD Biotrack tool. It will help to find/locate relevant information in the context of Bhutan using the case studies through group sessions and global biosafety information repositories. It will further help to obtain step-by-step instructions on how to register national information on the national BCH tool and BCH central portal.

    Bhutan is signatory to Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) and as an obligation, CPB emphasises on the need of establishment of national BCH as an information exchange platform. Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) is the national competent authority to implement Biosafety Act of Bhutan 2015. In order to engage biosafety regulators, academia and food importers for exchange of scientific, technical, environmental and legal information on living modified organisms, BAFRA is revamping the Bhutan Biosafety Clearing House (BBCH) which was previously managed by National Environment Commission (NEC).

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