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Bhutan Trust Fund’s Nu. 28.95 mn for environmental conservation

Four grant assistance projects funded by Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation will commence this month with the grant agreement between BTFEC, GNHC and the grant recipients signed yesterday.

The total budget of Nu 28.955 million will be used for the Samarzingkha Agro-forestry Project, Building Socio-Ecological Resilience, An Adaptation to Progressive Climate Change in Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, An Adaptation to Progressive Climate Change in Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Introducing Environmental Science in Formal Education in Bhutan in Classes XI and XII, except for the Zero Waste Project in Samdrupjongkhar and Wamrong, the projects were recommended due to larger impact on the society.

BTFEC received total of nine proposals of which three were from Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, four from Civil Society Organisations and one from Royal Education Council.

With the maximum budget of Nu 15 million among the four projects, Samazingkha Agro-forestry project intends to convert 330 acres of ridge into agro- forestry landscape which has been repeatedly burnt down by the forest fire in recent years. “Since the project site faces shortage of water, it aims to irrigate the site with water from Thadra Geonpa area” said Ugyen Lhendup, the Chief Programme Officer of BTFEC. “As interim measure, rain water harvesting method will be put in place and numerous infrastructures like project office, Royal Rest House, roads, fencing, drains, gate, ESP quarters, and transmission lines will be developed.”

The project is expected to be completed by 2020 where the Thimphu Forest Division will be the overall coordinator of the project under which the Division a project office will be instituted to coordinate and consult concern stakeholders for related works.

Considering climate change and its emerging threat to human and wildlife communities, Building Socio-Ecological Resilience project aims in seeking ways to mitigate the threats and adapt human lifestyles to minimize the threats to human communities and natural ecosystems.

With the approved grant of Nu 7.013 million, the project intends to tackle the threats from long term climatic changes on the biodiversity, human livelihoods, and water resources in and around Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary through three major activity components of Climate Change Adaptation, Land Use Assessment and Natural Resource Management to be completed by June next year.

The introduction of Environmental Science in Formal Education in Bhutan in Classes XI and XII will be in effect from the academic session of 2018 with the approved grant of Nu. 5.236 million mainly for the procurement of resources and training the teachers to teach the subject.

“The project intends to strengthen the effort of introduction of environmental science in class IX and X by further addressing the gaps in higher secondary schools and thereby contributing to a consistent, comprehensive and meaningful learning at the university level,” said Ugyen Lhendup.

The Zero Waste Project in Samdrupjongkhar and Wamrong under the coordination of Lhomon Society / Samdrupjongkhar Initiative is expected to be completed by June next year with the primary objective to foster systems and mindset that activates sustainable waste reduction that are both sustainable and locally appropriate.

The approved grant for the project is Nu 1.706 million. Ugyen Lhendup said, “The idea of the project is to create model villages and towns for replication and scaling up of zero waste activities in other urban and rural places, which in turn will have wider impact in turning Samdrupjongkhar and Trashigang Dzongkhags into a zero waste dzongkhags eventually”.

So far BTFEC has funded 206 projects, which have been conducted twice in a year. BTFEC further plans to have a specific theme oriented grants to be granted annually to ensure effective outcome with reasonable budget.

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