17-19th April: Conservation of natural heritages in Bhutan is a legacy passed down to the present generation by our forefathers and the farsighted leadership of our kings have given us a vision and direction for our conservation journey. Today, we have over 51% of the country under a network of protected areas that includes National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuary, Strict Nature Reserve and Biological Corridors and majority of the conservation efforts are donor driven. As the nation gears towards graduating from Least Developed Country (LCD) status to Middle Income Country, it is likely that donor assistance for conservation will dwindle. Therefore, Bhutan for Life (BFL) was envisioned. BFL is a 14-year financial bridge that allows for immediate improvement in the management of Bhutan’s protected areas for climate resilience, and the prompt delivery of mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity gains, while the country gradually ratchets up its own financing resources.
In order to kick-start the implementation of the much awaited conservation project for the protected areas of Bhutan, a three day multi-stakeholder workshop was organized in Paro with an objective to provide sensitization on BFL, its functions, roles and processes and mechanisms, to clarify roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders in BFL program implementation and, to agree on the working modalities, reporting mechanisms and implementation plan of BFL program.
As the workshop concluded, clear directions was set for implementation of the project with strengthened coordination amongst the stakeholders through the identification of lead and coordinating agencies in implementing the activities that are broadly divided into five thematic areas. The workshop also agreed on the operation plan, reporting protocol and monitoring framework. The BFL Fund Grant Agreement has been signed on 12 April 2019 between the BFL Fund Secretariat and Gross National Happiness Commission and the programme is now ready for implementation.
His Excellency, Minister for Ministry of Agriculture & Forests, Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor graced the closing of the BFL Multi Stakeholder Workshop and in his keynote address, His Excellency urged on the need for stronger collaboration between the stakeholders towards our collective goal of conserving and managing the natural heritages. Bhutan has been exemplary in the field of conservation and the need therefore is to manage our natural capital assets to ensure its sustainability by maintaining and adequately managing our protected areas. His Excellency expressed his appreciation for the work done thus far and expressed good wishes for the successful implementation of the project, so that we can pass down to the younger generation, the legacy which we inherited from our forefathers.
The workshop was attended by over 50 participants representing the relevant stakeholders and conservation partner agencies. The workshop was jointly coordinated by BFL Secretariat and BFL Project Coordination Unit under the Department of Forests & Park Services.
BFL Project Coordination Unit and BFL Secretariat