World Bank Mission assures continued support in forestry sector

24 April, 2019: The World Bank Mission comprising of four members led by Ms. Magda Lovei, the Practice Manager, Environment and Natural Resources met with the Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo, Yeshey Penjor.

The meeting discussed the progress Bhutan has made with the implementation of the REDD+ Readiness grant and opportunities for further collaboration between the Ministry and World Bank in the forestry sector in terms of capacity building, agro-forestry and human-wildlife conflict.

Ms. Magda Lovei highlighted that Bhutan is one of the few countries that aims to remain carbon negative ensuring a sustainable environment. Appreciating the Bhutan’s conservation effort, she assured to extend continued support in conservation of natural resources. She further stressed that Bhutan should consider its potential to utilise the forest resources for more economic benefits.

Lyonpo shared that Bhutan has a strong policies on conservation and natural resources management. He added that besides conservation mandates, the Ministry aims to enhance food-security in the 12th five year plan.

The mission is in the country from April 20-26 during which they will also meet with other relevant stakeholders and the private sector to understand their engagement in forest-related activities.

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 World Bank have funded 8.6 M US$ for the REDD+ Readiness in Bhutan which started in 2015 and will continue until June 2020. The project is expected to contribute to the nationally determined contributions of the country by strengthening forest through improved management of forest resources, forest law enforcement and governance.

According to a spokesperson, the REDD+ implementation will directly contribute to two programs in the 12th five year plan namely, sustainable forest management and utilisation, and climate smart and disaster resilience programs.

Through the project, the Ministry has made significant achievements such as National Forest Inventory, Forest Reference Emission Level ready for submission to UNFCCC, established 14 forest heritages and developed database on Forest Resource Information Management System among others. The project is further finalising the national REDD+ Strategy and Benefit Sharing Mechanism and Fund Mobilisation Strategy among others.

-ICTD

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