Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will travel to Paris, France to deliver the keynote address at the first meeting of the seventh Replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund on March 29, according to a foreign affairs ministry press release.

The replenishment meetings of GEF provide an opportunity for contributing participants to review GEF’s performance and evaluate progress, assess future funding needs, and agree on a financing framework.

The GEF has been an important partner for Bhutan in addressing the challenges faced in the area of environment and climate change. During the past 20 years of cooperation, the GEF, through its 19 projects (completed and ongoing), has made significant impact on Bhutan’s nature conservation and pursuit of low carbon and climate resilient development, the press release states.

A notable contribution of GEF, amongst others, is its support to the establishment of the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation (BTFEC), which enables a sustainable funding stream to preserve Bhutan’s rich biological diversity.

This was the first GEF Trust Fund in the world and it has become a model for other countries to develop and establish conservation endowment funds to secure long-term financing to conserve natural resources and biodiversity.

The BTFEC has been recognised internationally as an example of best practices in conservation finance, and a global leader in the establishment and implementation of conservation endowment funds.

The Royal Government and GEF, in partnership with UNDP, are working on developing projects for enhancing sustainability and climate resilience of forests and agriculture, and low emission urban transport systems.

Staff reporter