Environment: Bhutan joined other Parties in welcoming the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and called for early action to realise its implementation at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change being held in Marrakech, Morocco, from November 7-18, according to a foreign affairs ministry press release.

The Marrakech Conference comprises of the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 22), 12th Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto protocol (CMP12) and the first Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1).

The Bhutanese delegation, comprises of officials of relevant agencies of the Royal Government and is led by National Environment Commission (NEC) secretary Chencho Norbu.

At the conference, the delegation was involved in the negotiations to draft the ‘rulebook’ for implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Speaking at the high-level segment of the conference, Chencho Norbu, said that Bhutan is in an advanced stage of ratifying the Paris Agreement and that the National Assembly is deliberating the Agreement at its on-going winter session.

He said that the conference in Marrakech is on “action”, and stressed the importance of putting in place the rules for implementation and action that is backed up by a robust system for transparency, support and action.

He highlighted the need for clear guidance on moving forward on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) for mitigation action, and for the adaptation communications to convey priorities and needs for addressing impacts of climate change.

The secretary highlighted Bhutan’s cautious approach to sustainable development and said that over 70 percent of the country is under forest cover for the wellbeing of the local, and global community. He informed that Bhutan is carbon negative and reiterated the country’s commitment to  carbon neutral growth.

As a small, landlocked and mountainous country, he underlined Bhutan’s vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change. He said that the glaciers are receding rapidly, and frequent extreme weather events are hitting rural communities hard.

Chencho Norbu said that Bhutan has identified adaptation priorities including mitigation measures in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of 2015, and is committed to implement these actions. In doing so, support from the global community will be critical to succeed.

Looking forward, the secretary said that climate change is happening and the most vulnerable and poorest across all countries are being hit the hardest. He urged all Parties to double efforts to maintain the momentum for action at all levels in keeping with the spirit of the Paris Agreement.

The Marrakech conference is the first high-level meeting of parties after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and is expected to produce the roadmap and work-plan for completing the details and rules for operationalising the Paris Agreement by 2018.

Staff reporter