Consultation meeting for Bhutan for Life initiative held

The consultation meeting for ‘‘Bhutan for Life initiative’’ was held at the Natural Resources Development Cooperation Limited  hall in Thimphu from June 18-22 to ensure strong network of protected areas and biological corridors in the country.

The Hon'ble Sanam Lyonpo graced the inaugural sessionAround 200 participants from various Dzongkhags and regions attended the meeting where they also discussed regarding the coordination gaps and issues in the field offices.

Sonam Wangdi, the chief of Nature Conservation Division (NCD) said, ‘‘With Bhutan nearing graduation from least developed country status, there would be decrease in foreign aid and that could make conservation of environment challenging.’’ Further, he added that the final consultation meeting would help create awareness and provide information regarding the Bhutan for Life initiative. “We have reached the conservation tipping point with more than 60 percent of the population under the age of 24 years, which will exert pressure on the resources,” he shared.

Bhutan for Life was started as an innovative mechanism to enhance the conservation efforts in the country with the Project for Finance Permanence (PFP) model in 2013.  PFP is a funding model that brings private and public investors to fund ambitious, measurable and long-term conservation impacts. This initiative will be implemented for 14 years.

According to the prospectus of ‘Bhutan for Life,’ the initiative will directly involve local communities to develop sustainable and climate-resilient land management that uses traditional knowledge.

The prospectus states, we expect to see significant improvements in the management of protected areas with conservation plans developed for 10 additional priority species. Protected areas and biological corridor management plans will incorporate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Bhutan for Life will ensure that necessary staff, infrastructure and technology are put in place to conserve over the long term. Bhutan’s protected areas and biological corridors will have established zero poaching frameworks and instituted spatial monitoring and reporting tool to improve effectiveness of patrolling.

Implementing agencies include NCD, Watershed Management Division, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research, Forest Protection and Enforcement Division and Forest Resource Management Division among others. The five-days long meeting was organised by NCD.

Reported by Karma Loday with photo by Choidup Zangpo

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