ICIMOD and Bhutan celebrate partner’s day

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To strengthen ICIMOD’s engagement and enhance its partnerships in Bhutan, the Bhutan-ICIMOD partner’s day was celebrated as part of the 49th Board of Governors’ (BoG) meeting of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests on Wednesday.

The five-day BoG meeting from May 14 to 18 reviewed the center’s progress, policies, and strategies. The panel discussion was held to strengthen and align activities of Bhutan’s 12th five year plan and ICIMOD’s medium term action plan (MTAP-IV).

The deliberations highlighted the way forward for convergence, policy uptake, and the scaling up of outcomes for strengthening sustainable mountain development in Bhutan.

According to the Deputy director general of ICIMOD, Dr. Eklabya Sharma, the event provides a platform for mutual learning and sharing, and present networking opportunities for national partners in the country with regard to ICIMOD program implementation.

Dr. Eklabya Sharma said the panel discussion is to really understand what the real priorities are and how ICIMOD’s five year plans can be matched so that the next five years they will try to deliver the needs of the 12th five year plan and also bring additional attributes and approaches.

He further stated that Bhutan is one country from which other member countries can learn a lot on wellbeing, good practices and on how Bhutan is trying to enhance the eco system and environment good for the people and community.

“However now with climate change, so much is happening and other types of changes are also happening so Bhutan has to develop a fund, develop a more resilient community, and have to see resilient mountain solutions to be put into practice,” said Dr. Eklabya Sharma who presented an overview of MTAP-IV 2018 -2022.

Bhutan has been a member of ICIMOD for 34 years and its experiences and knowledge through the years have shaped the initiatives.

ICIMOD with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) and Tsirang dzongkhag is developing livelihoods diversification using experience of Himalica initiative and also a pilot on goat and vegetable value chains.

They are also working on inputs to Organic Agriculture Policy in Bhutan and resilient Mountain Solutions.

Additionally, they are working with the spring shed management. With national center for hydrology and meteorology, ICIMOD is working on regional Flood Information System and also on the Cryosphere Monitoring Programme.

The event also offered ICIMOD partners in Bhutan the opportunity to showcase their work to the ICIMOD Board of Governors and the ICIMOD Support Group.

Four ICIMOD-Bhutan publications, namely-Organic Agriculture Development Strategy, Bhutan Tourism Product Development Guidelines, Tourism Action Plan for Haa, and Land Cover Change and its Eco-Environmental Responses in Nepal, were also launched at the event.

The panel discussion bought representatives from Royal University of Bhutan, National Land Commission for Women and Children, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce Industries and ICIMOD.

ICIMOD works for the advancement of mountain people in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. It is governed by its BoG, which consists of one representative each from eight regional member countries-Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

Pema Seldon from Thimphu