REDD+ Project - US$ 4.8m Grant from World Bank

The World Bank granted USD 4.8 million to support the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the strengthening of Bhutan’s forests under the Bhutan REDD+ Readiness Project on February 9 in Thimphu.

REDD+ Project - US$ 4.8m Grant from World Bank. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)

 

REDD+ Project - US$ 4.8m Grant from World Bank

The World Bank granted USD 4.8 million to support the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the strengthening of Bhutan’s forests under the Bhutan REDD+ Readiness Project on February 9 in Thimphu.

The Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation, Forest Degradation and Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forests and the Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+) is a mitigation mechanism to combat climate change.

The international programme operates under the principles of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing carbon sequestration through improved forest protection and management.

The Finance Minister Namgay Dorji said that the additional fund would be utilised in implementing two main programmes in the 12th Plan – sustainable management and the conservation of natural resources, wildlife or biodiversity and watersheds. The national land use of zoning and geospatial management is led by the National Land Commission.

Benefits of the grant from the World Bank

The Agriculture secretary Rinzin Dorji said the grant would help in achieving the National Key Result Areas (NKRAS) of maintaining services to preserve a healthy ecosystem, enhance a carbon-neutral climate, disaster resilient development and national land zoning.

“The grant will help strengthen institutional capacity, increase stakeholder engagement, streamline forest information management system including forestry clearance procedures, contribute to having a national land use plan which will help in harmonising conflicts and competing interests across sectors use of land resources.”

The World Bank’s resident representative for Bhutan, Yoichiro Ishihara, said that throughout the world when there is a huge dynamic and inconsistencies on how to balance land use, especially forest management, economic development and urbanisation, it is important to develop a national land policy.

“Having a good land policy which is informed by evidence and data will give less pressure on the forest and degradation in Bhutan.”

About the REDD+ Readiness programme in Bhutan

The REDD+ Readiness programme was institutionalised in Bhutan in 2010. In 2013, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank approved the REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP). The project was implemented from 2015 with a grant of USD 3.8 million from the World Bank.

In the last three years, the project has completed the National Forest Inventory, established heritage forests, land use and land cover mapping in 2016. It has also revised forest and nature conservation rules and regulations in 2017, build capacity for forest management, and institutionalised the national forest monitoring system. It has reduced the forest reference emission level including the forest resource information management system.

Other action plans developed for the future

The Secretary Rinzin Dorji said that Bhutan is also developing the National REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan – a roadmap for implementing Bhutan’s REDD+ programme in future with policies and measures for addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and improving the carbon sink capacity of the forest.

“The readiness phase will also benefit Bhutan in terms of establishing a mechanism to monitor forest cover changes and lay the foundation for improving forest management and governance,” he said.

Through these grants, secretary Rinzin Dorji said, Bhutan expects to have the REDD+ architecture in place by 2020.

 

By Karma Cheki (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared in Kuensel.

 

 


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