KP Sharma 

To build resilience to climate change and adaptive capacity of communities with water shortages in Paro, Dagana, and Tsirang, the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) signed a grant agreement of $9.951 million for a period of five years.

According to a press release from BTFEC, the project will be implemented in 13 gewogs of these dzongkhags.

The gewogs with specific vulnerabilities exacerbated by climate change have been identified as priorities for intervention under the government’s water flagship programme.

The press release stated that the issue needs to be specifically addressed through targeted water and agricultural adaptation activities.

“The project aims to benefit 36,464 people directly and rehabilitate 21,251 hectares of natural habitats”, stated the press release.

The three gewogs have a population of 36,464 and cover a total area of 1,403sq km.

The project for climate resilience-building in water-stressed communities in Bhutan proposes an articulated approach to healthier ecosystems and improves associated services.

The project is expected to enhance better management of water use for human activities, improve information systems and decision-making, and link with the most relevant level of governance.

It added that the issues related to water availability and use along the watershed, the various components of sustainability and the participation of the beneficiaries are key aspects of the project, according to the press release.

The fund is from the Adaptation Fund Secretariat which provides funding to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The grant to Bhutan is part of the fund’s ongoing commitment to support climate adaptation efforts around the world.