Sherab Lhamo

To foster collaboration and enhance service delivery of the civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country, a sensitisation and consultation meeting was held on August 9 in Thimphu.

A total of 50 representatives from 40 CSOs came together to learn about the prospects of Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation’s (BTFEC) funding opportunities for the CSOs in the country.

BTFEC is an intermediary channel of funding between the international donors and Bhutan. A significant portion of funds are allocated in the government projects, mainly in the environment sector.

During the workshop, BTFEC Managing Director Karma Tshering (PhD) clarified that BTFEC was not a government organisation. The budget allocation, he said, was dependent on proposals and potentials from the organisations and individuals to make a positive impact on the society.

The organisation disburses funds without interest.

CSO members acknowledged the interconnected nature of environmental issues across different sectors.

One of the participants, Dawa Tshering, the Executive Director of Bhutan Stroke Foundation shared his misconception regarding BTFEC’s funding scope, assuming it was only limited to specifically environment based CSOs.

He added that through this event it broadened his understanding, highlighting that every CSOs are interconnected with environmental concerns. He emphasised that organisations like the Stroke Foundation, while addressing issues, are inevitably influenced by climate change.

Karma Zangmo, a programme officer with the Music of Bhutan Research Centre said that there are opportunities to propose projects that are in line with environmental conservation and advocacy.

There are 52 registered CSOs in the country, from which five are classified under environment and climate change.

The event was initiated by BTFEC and Bhutan CSO network.