Of the total 45 success indicators for the National Environment Commission (NEC), four were achieved, 39 were on track and two were at risk.

This was presented during the mid-year review of the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) on February 26 in Thimphu.

NEC secretary Chencho Norbu proposed to revise the target for the two Success Indicators (SI) at risk.

He said that the NEC was expected to submit the report after a meeting is convened with the basel secretariat, but since it was not yet complete, the commission proposed to submit it on September 18.

The second SI at risk, he said was the completion of the revision of the  National Environment Strategy (NES).

The secretary said that the NES drafted needed review. The APA report stated there was no budget available to carry out the activity and requested the indicator be revised to the time by which the review of the  revised NES is initiated.

“Due to the election, we may not be able to carry out stakeholder consultation workshops,” he said.

In terms of achievement, the NEC conducted workshops for local leaders on environmental mainstreaming in Samtse, Tsirang, Sarpang, Dagana, Bumthang, Trongsa, and Zhemgang.

Stakeholder consultation was carried out on Kigali amendment and Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer on August 29 last year.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that conserving the environment  is not solely the responsibility of one agency but needs coordination and collaboration among several agencies.

He said that the basel report indicator would not be considered a risk, and the Government Performance and Management Division (GPMD) would look into the matter.

The second risk on the completion of the revision of the draft NES should be completed by June,he said.

Of the Nu55.35 Million (M) budget released, NEC spent Nu 40.09M.

During the meeting, the secretary said that National Statistics Bureau’s environment accounting was impressive but suggested that the bureau and the commission have a dialogue as NEC has also compiled reports on environment.

“It would be helpful to know what they were focusing on while compiling the report on environment.”

He said that of the 180 countries, Bhutan ranked 131 in environment performance indicator according to a Yale University’s study this year. “We are trying to work on what parameters and how they were measuring the environment performance.”

The secretary said that since the APA does not cover all the work an agency does, he asked if it would be possible to look into work that an agency provides, which has huge impacts on the service. “There are cases within the operation, for instance, in NEC, requests to reexamine some of the documents such as clearance forms were put forth. We see that these are really necessary for clients to expedite the process, which needs to be done.”

Although these are not mentioned in the APA, it has huge impact on the service that is provided to the people, he said, adding that about 18 forms were reexamined last year.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said it was important to distinguish which agency would do what when it came to environment accounting as two agencies were doing similar works. “As for the environment performance indicator, we should let them know if it is a mistake and if it’s correct, then we should take it up as a challenge and work towards improving it.”

GPMD, he said, should recognise works that are done but not included in the APA at the end of year.

Rinchen Zangmo