10 October, Thimphu: Considering the successful thirty years of partnership, the Ministry and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) celebrated the first Bhutan-ICIMOD day at the conference hall of the Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited.
The day was organised to ensure the centre is responding to the needs and specific priorities of the country in the implementation of the medium term action plan (MTAP-III 2013-17) for the eight region countries along the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH).
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, the Bhutanese Prime Minister was the Chief Guest for the occasion. Also present were the Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, the Agriculture Minister; Ex-Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji; Dr David Molden, ICIMOD’s Director General along with other dignitaries and senior officials from the Ministry and ICIMOD.
Addressing the day, Lyonchhen shared ten reasons that make the Hindu Kush Himalayan, a special one in the world. He added the region have a spectacular landscape, young mountain, virgin peaks, biodiversity hotspots with immense potential for fresh water and energy among others.
Lyonchhen further appreciated that the ICIMOD’s programs are consistent to the ideas of Vision 2020 and the objectives of the 11th Five Year Plan. Talking on the challenges in the region, Lyonchhen added that Bhutan’s answer is the Gross National Happiness.
According to Dr David Molden, the Bhutan-ICIMOD day is an important milestone on the ICIMOD journey in the region as it shares a long and fruitful partnership with Bhutan.
The day highlighted various ongoing and emerging programmes like Himalica, trans-boundary landscape, river basin, MENRIS etc. which are being initiated under MTAP-III 2013-17. Partners also discussed its challenges, issues and opportunities.
According to sources, Bhutan has been a founding member of ICIMOD. Since the launch of the first MTAP (2003-07), ICIMOD’s engagement in Bhutan has strengthened in areas of biodiversity conservation, medical and aromatic plants, rangeland policy, shifting cultivation, water and disaster management, climate change adaptation and capacity building.
The celebration has successfully helped to expand partnership and foster new linkages between ICIMOD and national institutions particularly aligning with national priority programmes to contribute towards sustainable livelihood development of the mountain people. .
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