Himalica Contributes to the Local 12th Five-Year Plan for Tsirang, Bhutan

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Group photo of the Landscape Governance Journey participants
Photo credit: Tshering Samdrup/ICIMOD

In an effort to scale up climate-smart technologies and practices piloted in Barshong Gewog through the Local 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) for Tsirang, Bhutan, the Support to Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalaya (Himalica) programme organized a Landscape Governance Journey from 20 to 22 May 2017 in Tsirang. 

The Landscape Governance Journey was undertaken to connect a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders to the environment, bio-culture, and society of Tsirang in order to build a shared sustainable vision and develop integrated and collective actions.

BOX 1: Climate-resilient technologies and good practices identfied from  the Himalica Pilot site in  Barshong for local 12th  Five Year Plan for Gewogs in Tsirang district

  • Vegetable farming techniques as referred to  in the Farmer’s Manual
  • Improved goat sheds with stall feeding facility
  • Low-cost water harvesting
  • Low-cost plastic greenhouse 
  • Biochar 
  • Bio digester with improved cattle shed 
  • Napier cultivation for sustainable land management 
  • Group “grant loan” method 
  • Springshed management

During the Landscape Governance Journey, the participants identified climate-smart technologies, practices, and activities for improving rural livelihoods and building the resilience of highland communities of Tsirang for inclusion in their Local 12th FYP.  All these actions are listed in Box 1 above and have links to the Draft Local Government Key Result Areas and Key Performance Indicators in the Local 12th FYP for Tsirang district.

Participants come together for a morning check-in session
Photo credit: Tshering Samdrup/ICIMOD

Several Landscape Governance Journey tools and methods customized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in collaboration with Wageningen University’s Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), were used to support the visioning and planning processes. During the three-day journey, the participants not only got a better sense of the concepts of “landscape” and “landscape governance” but also connected with one another. They visited the Himalica pilot area in Barshong gewog to better understand key elements of its landscape—natural, socio-cultural, physical, institutional, and livelihoods—and the interlinkages among these elements with all five senses through observing, listening, smelling,  touching, and tasting. The participants also saw first-hand different technologies and practices piloted in Barshong gewog for the climate-resilient development of the vegetable and improved goat husbandry value chains for enhancing and diversifying the livelihoods of farmers. They also interacted with the farmers to learn about various aspects, including strengths and challenges, of the technologies and the practices farmers have adopted. The process included story-telling by young progressive farmers with input from Himalica team members from Tsirang and ICIMOD on piloted technologies and good practices associated with value chain development and springshed management in Barshong. The Landscape Governance Journey was found to be useful as it helped connect different stakeholders and enabled them to weave together innovative action plans for their 12th FYPs. 

A young progressive farmer from Barshong shares his story
Photo credit: Tshering Samdrup/ICIMOD

Officers from the Policy and Planning Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests in Thimphu and multiple sectors (planning, agriculture, livestock, forest, environment, and others) in Tsirang, the administration officers from 12 Gewogs, Barshong Gups and a few progressive farmers participated in the Landscape Governance Journey facilitated by resource persons from Bhutan and ICIMOD. 

The Deputy Governor of Tsriang and Director General of ICIMOD gave closing remarks during the closing session of the Landscape Governance Journey. They also jointly launched the Farmers’ Manual http://lib.icimod.org/record/32632 on vegetable farming.