Themed:”Raising Climate Ambition: Voices from Bhutan”, the country’s first climate series was launched in Thimphu yesterday.

The virtual series brings to forefront the impacts of climate change on Bhutan’s environment and livelihoods of people, and how the country is raising its climate ambitions for the Paris Agreement through an enhanced second Nationally Determined Contributions.

National Environment Commission’s (NEC) chair, Lyonpo Tandi Dorji, said that while Bhutan as a developing country had increased efforts in tackling climate change impacts, those countries with capacity in finance and technology should support the least developed countries (LDC) like Bhutan. “We must all work to ensure that the virtue, force, and strength of multilateralism be harnessed to speed up the process of addressing climate change.”

Bhutan as the chair of the LDCs under the UNFCCC has been leading the 46 LDCs on climate change since 2019.

NEC Secretary Sonam P Wangdi said that the climate series marked the start of a series of events over the next couple of months to raise climate awareness and ambitions. “We hope to reach out to a wider audience within and outside the country to collaborate in raising ambitions for climate change.”

Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme Azusa Kubota said that the series took place on the eve of the Biodiversity Day 2021, themed, “We’re part of the solution”, which reminds us that biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better.

She said that the climate series comes during the “super year for nature” and ahead of COP26 scheduled in November in Glasgow, Scotland. “It aims to bring to the fore Bhutan’s climate voices and actions, as countries are expected to ramp up support for accelerated actions towards the goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 2°C or preferably below 1.5°C.”

The first event of the climate series yesterday highlighted on the state of Bhutan’s climate, glaciers and readiness systems, impacts of climate change on water and agriculture and how locally-led adaptation and nature-based solutions are at the heart of climate change action.

The five-part virtual series targets both local and international audiences and will continue till October this year.

During the event, three reports were also launched—roadmap and strategy for strengthening climate change research in Bhutan, gender and climate change in Bhutan, and biodiversity user list.

The series was conducted by NEC in collaboration with the UNDP, Royal University of Bhutan, Bhutan Ecological Society, Bhutan Foundation, WWF Bhutan, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund. 

By Choki Wangmo