Workshop Held In Bhutan To Tackle Climate Change In The Hindu Kush Himalayan Regions


“Bhutan had great examples such as promoting organic farming, protecting biodiversity and building ecosystem resilience.”

Tsorim lake. (Source: Doug Beecroft)


By Tshering Palden Kuensel

Last week, the International Centre on Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) officials conducted a daylong workshop in Thimphu to develop a call for action; to spur countries to pick up pace with climate-friendly measures.

The ICIMOD launched a scientific report – the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Assessment: Climate Change, Sustainability and People, earlier this year.

The assessment was carried out with the aim of establishing the global significance of the HKH and to reduce scientific uncertainty on various mountain issues among others. The report tells us that the HKH-mountains and the biodiversity are global assets.


Graphic: Slideshare/Dr Robert Zomer


ICIMOD’s Director General, David Molden (PhD) said that the report brings together all kinds of information and recommendations.

“For us what is important is to go beyond the publications and translate the science or findings into action,” David Molden (PhD) said.

How climate change is affecting the highlanders?

Many highlanders are moving out of the mountains as the climactic conditions deteriorate. 

If the world fails to take immediate action to reduce carbon emissions, the mountainous region of the HKH is going to lose more than one-third of its ice by the end of 2100.

“This is a highly vulnerable situation for instance, socio-economic changes leading to challenges for the highland people, as there is a higher degree of poverty in the mountain areas,” he said.

On top of the vulnerable situation, there is the lingering issue of climate change.

“We are way off the 1.5 degree Celsius that we agreed in Paris and if we continue the present trend of greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures in mountains are likely to go up to 5 degrees by 2100,” said David Molden (PhD).


Photo: Druk Asia


However, he explained that in spite of these changes there are also lots of opportunities such as eco-tourism which can help to safeguard biodiversity, and other high-value products.

The role that Bhutan can play in spearheading action against climate change

Bhutan can play a strong role as a leader in the discussions and participants at the workshop charted out what Bhutan needs to do.

“Bhutan had great examples such as promoting organic farming, protecting biodiversity and building ecosystem resilience,” the director said.

According to David Molden (PhD), ICIMOD member countries need to come together and raise their concerns as one ‘mountain people’ at the UN Summit on Climate Change in September and other international forums.

Rinzin Dorji, the Agriculture Secretary said that the country has already embarked upon climate resilient agriculture and climate smart measures have also been initiated.

“For instance, our irrigation schemes are being changed from normal surface canals to piped irrigation. With flash floods becoming frequent, the old irrigation infrastructure are washed away and farming affected,” he said.

Rinzin Dorji emphasised that Bhutan is placed high among the ICIMOD member countries because of its strong conservation policies and exemplary leadership.

“Climate course are introduced in colleges, land is managed with terracing, seeds resistant to cold and drought are also being propagated.”


This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.


Related Posts

One Third Of The Hindu Kush Himalayan Glaciers Could Melt By End...

Bhutan will see a rise in temperature higher than the regional average of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

Feb 13, 2019 17:56

Global Warming And Its Adverse Impact On Yak Herders In Bhutan

The study seeks to evaluate the vulnerabilities of yak herding in Bhutan due to climate change.

Apr 01, 2019 15:38

Constructive Steps Taken To Mitigate Impact Of Glacial Lake...

Lunana houses four major lakes-Thorthomi, Raphstreng, Luggye and Baytsho. So far, the Thorthomi and Raphstreng lakes are...

Oct 20, 2018 08:58

Pristine Bhutan Strives To Maintain A Carbon Neutral Development...

Bhutan is also a biodiversity hotspot with over 6000 species of flora and approximately 1900 species of fauna.

Jan 25, 2019 17:38

Carbon Negative Bhutan Strives To Maintain Its Status As The...

The mountainous state absorbs three times more carbon dioxide than it emits, thanks mainly to the lush forests covering...

Oct 12, 2018 17:36

International Climate Initiative and WWF Germany To Support...

A team from WWF Bhutan and Germany visited seven of the nine targeted districts in the country’s Southwestern region to...

May 22, 2019 11:48



Bhutan Observes World Day To Combat Desertification, Advocates Sustainable Land Management

In Bhutan, this day is considered important as it focuses only on land.

Jun 17, 2019 18:28

Embracing Diversity - Bhutan Takes Huge Step Towards Decriminalising Homosexuality

Sections 213 and 214 that criminalised ‘unnatural sex’ removed from the Penal Code of Bhutan.

Jun 13, 2019 22:48


Advocating For A Central School For The Sakteng Community In Bhutan

Mangmi Lhendrup said that without boarding facilities, small children were left without care and guidance from their parents.

Jun 15, 2019 23:58

National Biodiversity Monitoring Protocol Drafted To Ensure That Bhutan’s Rich Biodiversity Thrives

The development of the protocol is Bhutan's first attempt to put in place a proper biodiversity monitoring system at the national-level.

Jun 15, 2019 15:18


Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 07, 2019 22:18

Meet Choki Om – First Woman From Bhutan To Become A FIFA Referee

Originally from the district of Wangdue, Choki has already been a referee for over a decade.

May 16, 2019 20:58


Swiss Business Delegates Visited Bhutan To Explore Business Opportunities

“Switzerland has a strong industrial base that equally matches the geographical conditions of Bhutan,” said Phub Zam.

Jun 14, 2019 17:25

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Pema And Rinchen Dorji Wangyel Of Wangyel Studio

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

May 28, 2019 19:18


Incorporating The Values Of Gross National Happiness Into Bhutan’s Hospitality Sector

High-end hotels like Six Senses and Zhiwa Ling have come up with their own ways to incorporate the tenets of GNH and sustainability...

Jun 09, 2019 19:28

Harnessing The Power Of Traditional Medicine, Wellness Tourism Set To Take Off In Bhutan

Traditional medicine has been gaining popularity in providing health care services to the Bhutanese.

May 29, 2019 19:48


5 cafes to visit in Thimphu

Best places to hang out in Thimphu for a steaming mug of coffee along with a delicious bite to eat.

Jun 19, 2019 10:30

Food Review: Cloud9 Cafe & Bar

Cloud9 has always been known in Thimphu for dishing out handcrafted gourmet burgers.

Mar 09, 2019 09:44

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!