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Bhutan Trust Fund Proposes $10 Million to Green Climate Fund: Building Climate Resilience in 120 Gewogs

BTF Proposes USD 10 Million to Green Climate Fund for Initiatives in 120 Gewogs

In an ambitious move to fortify the local communities in Bhutan against the adverse impacts of climate variability and extremes, the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTF) has liaised with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) proposing a hefty sum of USD 10 million. The initiative aims to launch a comprehensive project across 120 gewogs, focusing on climate adaptation, resilience, and boosting involvement in local governance processes.

The proposal surfaced during a critical week-long dialogue between Bhutanese implementing bodies and the GCF, setting the tone for future collaborative efforts in climate change mitigation. With anticipation hanging in the air, stakeholders eagerly await the GCF board’s verdict in July, hopeful for the green light to kickstart the “Climate Adaptation, Resilience and Engagement in Local Governance” (CARE-LG) project over a span of five years.

The BTF, a pioneering force accredited by both the GCF and Adaptation Fund, serves as an independent entity championing environmental conservation and climate resilience. It operates by endorsing proposals that pledge to weave social welfare within the fabric of environmental stewardship.

The CARE-LG project stands out with its ambitious objectives that aim at capacitating local governments and communities in crafting and executing climate adaptation strategies. It also seeks to infuse climate-responsive technologies and practices by dispensing performance-based adaptation grants, propelling communities towards sustainable development.

An intriguing aspect of the project lies in its selection criterion, earmarking 120 gewogs based on a climate vulnerability assessment. Notably, a subset of about 60 gewogs will benefit from adaptation grants, facilitated through a meticulous performance assessment mechanism geared towards financing their ingenious adaptation propositions.

Highlighting the project’s blueprint, officials have underscored the strategic integration of climate resilience in the annual planning and budgetary allocations of local governments. This initiative will see the light through small-scale investment grants in climate change adaptation (CCA), available upon meeting certain performance thresholds.

The venture commits to assimilating climate change adaptation within local grant mechanisms, fostering climate-resilient communities through targeted CCA investments. Bridging awareness and capacity among local government members and communities ranks high on the project’s agenda. The strategy encompasses fostering cross-learning, endorsing a network of climate advocacy, and nurturing the development of comprehensive gewog adaptation plans for grant facilitation.

Diving deeper into the second project component, it envisions disbursing climate change adaptation grants up to USD 125,000 per eligible gewog. The focus pivots towards viable technologies and practices, including gender-friendly farm mechanization and the inauguration of community-based farm machinery services.

The task of project execution falls under a specially designated management unit, a collaborative endeavor between the Department of Planning, Budget, and Performance (DPBP) within the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Local Governance and Disaster Management (DLGDM) under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Beside the CARE-LG proposal, the BTF prides itself on managing 15 ongoing projects with an investment surpassing USD 12 million, marking a significant contribution of over USD 2 million annually towards environmental conservation and resilience-building efforts.

This ambitious initiative marks a significant step towards leveraging local governance structures to foster climate resilience, empowering communities at the grassroots level to tactfully navigate the complex challenges posed by climate change.

Ethan Wilder

Ethan Wilder is a conservation photographer and videographer whose lens captures the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world and the critical challenges it faces. With a focus on wilderness preservation and animal rights, Ethan's work is a poignant reminder of what is at stake. His photo essays and narratives delve into the heart of environmental issues, combining stunning visuals with compelling storytelling. Ethan offers a unique perspective on the role of art in activism, inviting readers to witness the planet's wonders and advocating for their protection.

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