…for climate adaptation, resilience and engagement in local governance

YK Poudel

To reduce vulnerability and increase resilience of local communities in Bhutan to climate variability and extremes, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTF), has proposed the Green Climate Fund (GCF) USD 10 million to initiate a project in 120 gewogs.

The week-long discussion among implementing agencies in Bhutan and GCF started on May 26 which ends on June 1. 

Upon approval from the GCF board meeting in July this year, the project titled “Climate Adaptation, Resilience and Engagement in Local Governance”, (CARE-LG) would be implemented in the country for the next five years.

The BTF is an autonomous grant-making organisation accredited by the GCF and Adaptation Fund, which accepts proposals from both government and private agencies to support activities to promote social welfare through environment conservation and climate resilience initiatives.

As per the discussion on CARE-LG project, locally-led climate responsive adaptation planning and adaptation practices would be strengthened. Moreover, future areas of collaboration and possible projects were also discussed.

As per the proposal, the objectives of the project are to build the capacity of local governments and communities in climate change adaptation planning and implementation; and promote the adoption of climate responsive technologies and practices through provision of performance-based grants for adaptation investments.

The five-year project will prioritise 120 gewogs identified based on the climate vulnerability rating. Of which about 60 gewogs will receive climate change adaptation (CCA) grants through a performance-based assessment and access mechanism to finance their adaptation proposals.

According to officials from BTF, the key project feature is the integration of climate resilience building into LGs’ annual planning and budgetary cycles through allocation of small-scale CCA investment grants to be accessed based on performance.

The CARE-LG project plans to achieve climate change adaptation integrated in LG grant allocation mechanism and climate resilient local communities through CCA investments.

Based on the project brief, this project component is streamlined towards enhancement of awareness and capacity of LG members and communities on responding to climate change, promote cross-learning and create a network of climate change advocates and practitioners among LGs, and formulation of gewog adaptation plans for grant assistance.

Similarly, to achieve the second component, climate change adaptation grants would be provided to eligible gewogs, which is up to USD 125,000 per gewog. “The potential technologies and practices, gender friendly farm mechanization, establishment of community-based farm machinery would be prioritized.

Under a designated project management unit, the project will be co-executed by the department of planning, budget and performance (DPBP), finance ministry and department of local governance and disaster management (DLGDM), home ministry.

Besides this proposal, BTF currently has 15 ongoing projects worth USD 12 million—it funds projects worth over USD 2 million each year.