English | Dzongkha Sunday, February 23, 2020

GCF approves US$25.3 M for Climate-resilient Agriculture in Bhutan

Jul 9, 2019

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved US$ 25.3 M in support of Bhutan’s efforts to prepare and adapt to climate change and ensuring that Bhutan is heading towards low carbon and climate-resilient developments. The fund was approved at its 23rd Board Meeting held on July 7.

According to the joint press release, the government in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) accessed the fund. “Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) acknowledges GCF Secretariat, UNDP and all other relevant government agencies, including RGoB Mission Offices for the solidarity and teamwork in successfully securing the fund,” the commission said.

“Bhutan’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) highlights that the rural poor will be hit the hardest by climate change and its related impacts. This project, therefore, directly responds to the rural communities’ needs and address their challenges in the agriculture sector,” Azusa Kubota, the Resident Representative of UNDP Bhutan.

“With a long history of strong partnership with the GNHC, both at the policy and community levels, UNDP is pleased to support this project and concretely contribute to the Government’s top priority and Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Secretary of GNHC and GCF National Designated Authority (NDA) in Bhutan, Thinley Namgyel said financing support has come at the right time in helping to bridge the resource gap of the 12thplan. He added it will also help in addressing climate change issues, particularly in the agriculture sector, which is one of the priority sectors in the 12th plan.

“As a mountainous agricultural country, climate change is proving extremely disruptive and expensive for Bhutan. Flooding and landslides during monsoon have caused extensive damages to vital infrastructure like roads, access to market, and rural livelihoods. Conversely, during the dry season, there has been increasing pressure on drinking and irrigation water.”

The project would primarily benefit the rural communities through the provision of sustainable land and water management, more climate-resilient irrigation and agriculture, and climate-resilient roads. The project will also work with government agencies to mainstream climate change risks into land and water management planning.

In addition to supporting the 12th plan, the project is in coherence with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)– including no poverty, gender equality, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, climate action -and aligns well with Bhutan’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the global Paris Agreement.

By the end of the project, it is anticipated that over 400km of roads will be climate-proofed, nearly 20,000 acres of farmland will have reliable climate-resilient irrigation schemes, and crop yields would be increased by 30%.

 GNHC and UNDP will provide strategic and oversight roles to the project while local governments and agencies like the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology, Department of Agriculture, Department of Industry, Department of Forest and Park Services, and Department of Roads will implement the project.

The project implementation is expected to begin from January 2020 and will complete by December 31, 2025.

About the Green Climate Fund

The Green Climate Fund is a global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

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