Nepal National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Delegation Visits Bhutan

   TwitCount

The Support to Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalaya (Himalica) initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) successfully organized an exposure visit to Bhutan from 23–28 July 2017 for working group members of the National Adaption Plan (NAP) of Nepal.

The purpose of the visit was to exchange knowledge and good practices with regard to the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation programmes. The delegation consisted of 20 officials from 12 ministries of the Government of Nepal and resource persons from ICIMOD. The team was led by Ram Prasad Lamsal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Population and Environment. 

Group photo of the exposure visit team in Bhutan.
Photo: Ayusha Dangol

From the Bhutanese side, the Secretariat of the National Environment Commission (focal agency for NAP) coordinated technical discussions and interactions, while the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (focal agency for ICIMOD in Bhutan) provided logistics support.

During the visit, the Nepali delegation interacted with different levels of Bhutanese dignitaries. Presentations and interactive exchanges of ideas on the overall policy framework and processes for NAP and other relevant topics took place at the central level in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. After understanding the national perspective, the delegation was taken on a field visit to Punakha district and two sub-districts (Phangyul and Wangdue). Interactions with the district governor and local leaders provided a first-hand overview of the climate adaption mainstreaming process in Bhutan. Discussions were also held with supporting institutions, including the Centre for Hydro-Metrology Services and the College of Natural Resources. 

Honorable Secretary, Nat'l Environment Commission, sharing the highlights of Bhutan's NAP process.
Photo: Ayusha Dangol

The visiting team from Nepal got an overview of climate change issues in Bhutan, its multi-sectoral engagement process, and adaptation measures being implemented in different parts of Bhutan. Furthermore, the delegates also appreciated the way Bhutan is committed to preserving its environment, traditions, and culture as well as the way it strives for balanced socio-economic development under the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. In particular, the need for strong governance and committed leadership at different levels was highlighted. 

As Nepal’s National Adaptation Plan Process unfolds, the delegates observed that there was much to learn from each other’s experiences in the Himalayan region. As Lamsal put it, “Bhutan’s efforts in the implementation of its National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) is commendable. Good progress has been made in the NAP process. Given the fact that Bhutan and Nepal share many similarities in terms of geophysical and climatic challenges, continuous cross-learning can benefit both the countries.”