LOA for cryosphere monitoring in Bhutan signed


A Letter of Agreement (LOA) was signed between the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and the Department of Hydro-Met Services (DHMS) of the Royal Government of Bhutan and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) for long term cryosphere monitoring programme in the country. 

Signed on the occasion of Bhutan-ICIMOD Day on 10 October 2014, the LOA formalizes the collaboration between GNHC, DHMS, and ICIMOD for monitoring and assessment of changes in glaciers, snow and glacio-hydrology in Bhutan, and strengthening the capacity of DHMS.

GNHC is mandated, among others, to develop mechanisms for effective enforcement of government policies, and ensure that regular administrative responsibilities and development programmes for the Royal Government of Bhutan are implemented in the most efficient, effective, and beneficial  manner. 

DHMS is the focal department for cryopshere monitoring with mandate to observe and understand weather and climate, and provide weather, climate, hydrological, and environmental-related services to the country and respond to regional and international needs in Bhutan. 

ICIMOD, based in Kathmandu, Nepal, is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Much of ICIMOD’s research focuses on the science of climate change, cryosphere and atmosphere, and adaptation. 

The LOA will promote collaboration between ICIMOD, GNHC, and DHMS resulting in the increased understanding of climate-cryosphere-water nexus in Bhutan Himalaya. It will also promote policy support on sustainable adaptation intervention by establishing long-term cryosphere monitoring program in Bhutan. 

Dr David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, Thinley Namgyel (centre in the photo), Director of GNHC, and Karma Tshering, Director of DHMS, signed the Agreement on behalf of their organizations.  

Photo: Arnico Panday/ICIMOD