MoENR and ICIMOD Forge New Partnership to Tackle Environmental Challenges

In a significant step towards bolstering environmental cooperation and sustainable development efforts, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MoENR) of Bhutan and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) have inked a long-term collaboration pact. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed on March 5, marks a pivotal moment in the journey towards addressing pressing environmental concerns in the region.

Bhutan, a founding member of ICIMOD since its inception in 1983, reaffirmed its commitment to regional cooperation and knowledge exchange through this landmark agreement. The signing ceremony, graced by energy and natural resources minister Gem Tshering, witnessed the exchange of commitments between Karma Tshering, Secretary of MoENR, and Dr Pema Gyamtsho (PhD), Director General of ICIMOD.

Lyonpo Gem Tshering expressed optimism about the collaborative venture, emphasizing its potential to drive tangible progress for society and the environment. “The MoU represents our mutual commitment to collaborate, share knowledge, and drive meaningful progress. We look forward to a successful partnership that will contribute to the greater good of our society and the environment,” he remarked.

Highlighting the significance of the partnership, Secretary Karma Tshering stated, “This partnership reflects our commitment to leveraging ICIMOD’s expertise and resources to advance sustainable development initiatives in Bhutan.”

Dr Pema Jamtsho echoed this sentiment, underscoring ICIMOD’s role as a regional knowledge hub dedicated to fostering socio-economic resilience. “Our partnership with MoENR underlines our dedication to addressing environmental challenges and fostering socio-economic resilience in the region,” he emphasized.

This collaboration marks a strategic shift in ICIMOD’s engagement with Bhutan, with MoENR assuming the role of the nodal agency following civil service reforms in 2022. The signing of the MoU signifies a renewed commitment to deepen and strengthen ICIMOD’s presence in Bhutan, aligning with the nation’s development agenda.

As outlined in ICIMOD’s press release, the partnership will focus on key areas such as reducing climate and environmental risks, shaping resilient mountain economies, and enabling sustainable regional mechanisms. The collaborative efforts will be guided by ICIMOD’s new strategy, “2030: Moving Mountains,” and the 5th Medium-Term Action Plan (MTAP V), spanning from 2023 to 2026.

The establishment of the Bhutan-ICIMOD Coordination Committee and the Bhutan Country Desk further underscores the commitment to streamline efforts and maximize impact. Through these mechanisms, the partnership aims to foster targeted and impactful contributions to national priorities, ultimately steering Bhutan towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

As Bhutan and ICIMOD embark on this journey of collaboration, the stage is set for a transformative partnership that promises to address environmental challenges, promote sustainable development, and safeguard the invaluable natural heritage of the region.

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