Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation Approved Nu 90.63m Grant For Eight Projects
Two projects will be focussing on adaptation, another two on mitigation, three on security and one on social well-being.
By Rinchen Zangmo | Kuensel
The Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation (BTFEC) has recently approved eight projects worth Nu 90.63 million in total, out of about 69 project proposals.
The grant agreement was signed on January 4 in Thimphu this year. This was done as part of the BTFEC’s mandate to finance conservation programmes in the country.
The selected projects include watershed management at the Dop Shari in Paro, sustainable management of non-wood forests products, the conservation of Bhutan’s floral diversity as well as the critically endangered white-bellied heron.
The critically endangered white-bellied heron is found in Bhutan.
Photo: Species on the Brink
Forest fire management will be fortified through a participatory approach and glue laminated timber technology will also be promoted. The projects will also try to maintain urban spaces as ‘clean, green, and beautiful’ as possible.
Installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Bhutan
To develop a more sustainable transport system, the Information and Communications Ministry will soon install about six electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Bhutan.
Currently, there are five charging stations in the country which are being used by close to 100 electric vehicles (EVs). Looking at the current trend of increasing fuel-reliant vehicles, greenhouse gas emission is likely to be higher, affecting climate and environment adversely.
Although the existing stations are suitable for the number of EVs, they are still inadequate in supporting the government’s aim to promote the utilisation of low carbon emission vehicles.
Objectives of the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation
The Director of the BTFEC, Pema Choephyel, said that the trust fund was mandated to ensure social welfare through the conservation of the flora, fauna and ecosystems of Bhutan.
Trekking on horseback to the Laya highlands of Bhutan.
Photo: Druk Asia
“We are the only national donors for the environment. We are one of the very first environmental funds created in the world.”
An independent committee called the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) took the task of assessing the project proposals.
“We have to monitor at least twice in each project period. The projects will have to be implemented by July this year.”
These projects will have to be completed within three years. The maximum grant ceiling per project is Nu 15 million.
Pema Choephyel added that every six months, the implementing agencies are required to send a report about the state of the implementation activities.
“The implementing agencies will have to submit an annual work plan. Only then will the money be dispersed according to the requirement.”
More about the eight selected projects
Two projects will be focussing on adaptation, two on mitigation, three on security, and one on social well-being.
Every year, the trust fund allocates about USD 2 million as grants to support such projects. Before the implementation of these eight projects, the BTFEC will conduct an orientation programme.
The Director of the Gross National Happiness Commission, Rinchen Wangdi, said that all the projects are critically important.
“These projects are our priority areas. Besides the Agriculture and Forests Ministry, we have also approved a project from the Information and Communications Ministry. Wherever possible, we want to complement and support these kinds of projects.”
This article first appeared in kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.