Sherab Lhamo

The Bhutan Red Cross Society’s (BRCS) Y-Adapt climate change training programme provided over 100 young volunteers from five colleges of the Royal University of Bhutan with the necessary knowledge and skills to tackle climate-related issues within their communities.

Y-Adapt or Youth Adapt is an interactive, games-based curriculum, through knowledge sharing, engaging local communities, and inspires youth to act in their communities to adapt to climate change.

The programme utilises gamified learning, where participants progress through levels, receive feedback and rewards, and collaborate on challenges. This method makes learning more engaging and helps retain knowledge, said a trainer, Tandin Wangyel.

The training covered forest conservation, promoting climate-smart agricultural techniques such as terracing and crop diversification with the focus on local solutions.

The training participants from Paro College of Education, College of Science and Technology, College of Language and Culture Studies, Sherubtse College, and Jigme Namgyel Engineering College were also taught about community-based disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, emergency shelters and evacuation plans, among others, to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events like floods, landslides, and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).

BRCS launched the Y-Adapt programme on February 5, 2024 to train youth leaders in climate change adaptation. Twenty-eight youth coordinators from 10 colleges across the country participated in the first phase.

Two trainers, Sonam Dorji and Tandin Wangyel, who completed their Y-Adapt training of trainers on May 28, 2023 in Nepal, facilitated the training.

Participants said the programme provided valuable skills related to climate change adaptation and boosted their confidence. One participant suggested expanding the training to villagers due to its everyday relevance.

From tomorrow, Y-Adapt will train volunteers from Gedu College of Business Studies, Samtse College of Education, College of Natural Resources, and Norbuling Rigter College.