BTFEC grants Nu 79.219 Million

BTFEC grants Nu 79.219 Million

In a landmark event, the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) formalized Grant Funding Agreements on 8 March, 2024, marking a significant stride in environmental conservation and sustainable development. The ceremony, attended by officials from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and eight Project Partners, celebrated Large Grant projects totaling Nu 79.219 million (M).

Aligned with the core mandates of the BTFEC and the 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP) priorities of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB), these projects focuses on critical domains such as preserving biodiversity, enabling human-wildlife co-existence, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and addressing adverse impacts of development on the environment.

The Grant Agreements, now ready for implementation, solidify BTFEC’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The projects, approved under the annual funding window for 2023-24, encompass diverse initiatives that aim to optimize agriculture through solar lift irrigation, ensure climate-resilient water management for sustainable agriculture, integrate conservation with community livelihood, and foster participatory on-farm conservation of native horticulture crop diversity.

Noteworthy projects include “SHE-Cycle Solutions”, focusing on women-led initiatives for sustainable waste management, and the establishment of a “Bio-Waste to Biogas and Bio-Fertilizer Conversion Plant”. The initiative “Bhutan Climate Chronicles” also stands out, highlighting the importance of addressing climate change through education and awareness.

The Chairperson of the BTFEC (Ambassador of Bhutan to Thailand), Kezang Wangdi said that Bhutan is showing to the world how Bhutan is serious in conservation. The Chairperson appreciated the grantees and instructed to them to spend the grant with target-oriented results.

The Director for the Department of Macro-Fiscal and Development Finance, MoF, Tshering Dorji said that the Department is taking conservation agenda forward in the 13th FYP. The Director said, “The Department will continue its conservation spirit”.

The BTFEC Secretariat expressed delight in partnering with the priorities of the Royal Government and emphasized the positive impacts these strategic initiatives would bring to the livelihoods of communities.

The Managing Director of BTFEC, Dr Karma Tshering said that the organization is inspired to see there are people who are doing something in environmental conservation.

As the world’s first environmental Trust Fund and a nationally-owned funding agency, the BTFEC reiterated its commitment to supporting such crucial initiatives in Bhutan, furthering the nation’s reputation as a global leader in sustainable development and environmental conservation.

In May 1996, the Trust Fund was legally incorporated in Bhutan under Royal Charter. Today, it is an effective conservation grant making organization autonomous of the government. The Trust Fund is governed by the Royal Charter of 1996 and a high-level Management Board that was fully Bhutanised in May 2001. The day to day business is conducted out of a small Secretariat.

BTFEC works for the “Promotion of social welfare through conservation of its flora, fauna, diverse biodiversity and the ecosystem”. One of the strategic program priorities is to fund “climate adaptation projects”.

By Sangay Rabten, Thimphu