To reduce the indicative resource gap of about Nu 20 billion, the first national structured dialogue between Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), and Green Climate Fund (GCF) began yesterday at Thimphu.

The three-day dialogue will assist Bhutan to access GCF for the country’s climate change projects. GCF established in December 2010 is the main global financial mechanism to finance green initiatives promoting low emission and climate resilient development. It has its headquarters in South Korea.

GNHC’s Director Rinchen Wangdi said the meeting is also an effort of GNHC to reduce the indicative resource gap. The commission will be holding a series of meeting to mobilise resource from various funding windows.

Three pipeline funding proposals—supporting climate resilience and transformational change in the agriculture sector, Bhutan green transport programme, and simplified approval process (SAP) funding proposal on water flagship programme will also be presented to the delegates of GCF during the dialogue.

The dialogue will also serve as a platform to provide clarification and guidance to pipeline future potential projects of Bhutan.

The proposal to support climate resilience and transformational change in the agriculture sector is expected to promote resilient agricultural practices in the face of changing climate patterns; integrate climate change risks into water and land management practices that affect smallholders; and to reduce risk and impact of climate change induced landslides during extreme events that disrupt market access.

Bhutan Green Transport Programme proposal will focus on low emission transport solutions with interventions such as investments in zero emission buses and other operating assets for bus services, and investments in green transport infrastructure.

The focus of SAP funding proposal on water flagship programme would be revival of water sources under the impacts of climate change.

GNHC’s senior programme coordinator, Dechen Zam, said that the commission is the national designated agency (NDA) of GCF to Bhutan.

This means that any project proposals seeking fund from GCF would first require reviewing and screening through GHNC.

“All the proposals should go through the screening process of GNHC. Because we see the 12th Plan activities, we would know if there are duplication and also of the priority projects,” Dechen Zam said. The pipeline funding proposals has been reviewed by GNHC.

As part of the dialogue, the delegates also visited Memelakha landfill site, Greener Way and Bhutan Post to learn the issues and current management of urban transport in Thimphu city.

To date, GCF has approved three projects in the country – Bhutan for Life, strategic framework to strengthen the capacity of NDA to access resources from GCF and support direct accreditation process, and the preparation of the National Adaptation Plan for Bhutan. Fund for the three projects amount to USD 30 million.

The three-day dialogue will end on August 31.

Phurpa Lhamo