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The Royal Government of Bhutan and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) marked Partnership Day in Thimphu, Bhutan, on 16 May 2018. The celebration was part of a set of activities on the sidelines of the 49th ICIMOD Board of Governors Meeting hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), Bhutan, from 13 to 18 May in Thimphu.
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Prior to the board meeting, participants traveled to Haa and inaugurated an air quality monitoring station at Chelela.
Dasho Rinzin Dorji, Secretary of MoAF, in his capacity as Chair of the Board of Governors, also hosted the 49th ICIMOD Board of Governors Meeting where outgoing member Thomas Labahn was honoured for his dedicated service, especially in his capacity as Chair of the Finance Committee.
ICIMOD’s current and potential partner institutions in Bhutan – government agencies, research and academic institutions, NGOs, international development organizations, and the private sector – as well as members of the ICIMOD Board of Governors and Support Group participated in the event.
It is aimed at strengthening ICIMOD’s engagement and enhancing partnerships in Bhutan by aligning ICIMOD’s medium term action plan (MTAP IV) activities with the priorities of Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan.
The event provided a platform for mutual learning and sharing, and networking opportunities among national partners in Bhutan. It gave them the opportunity to showcase their work and allowed participants to meet, interact, and learn from each other.
ICIMOD has undertaken long-term monitoring and database development in Bhutan. The Centre has worked closely with partners, combining remote sensing, spatial analysis, and field work in many of its projects. ICIMOD has also worked with institutes and universities to strengthen regional capacity by developing joint research and knowledge management programmes on contemporary topics.
ICIMOD continues to engage proactively in formulating policy for key sectors in Bhutan such as the Renewable Natural Resources Marketing Policy of Bhutan, the Roadmap for Organic Agriculture in Bhutan, and the Tourism Product and Infrastructure Development Guidelines. The Centre has fostered private sector engagement in the country to promote potential value chains for kiwi fruit, honey, and yak. Learning from Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness framework, ICIMOD has also initiated work on a wellbeing and happiness framework for the HKH.
Since Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (2018–23) focuses on achieving overall economic growth and ensuring good governance without compromising the country’s environment and culture, it aligns well with ICIMOD’s MTAP IV (2018–22) plan. ICIMOD will work with the Royal Government of Bhutan to combat climate change, enhance the well-being of mountain people, and protect invaluable ecosystem services, while helping communities to improve resilience and adapt to change.
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