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Bhutan Strengthens Ties with ICIMOD in Milestone Partnership

March 8, 2024 12:41 pm


In a significant move towards sustainable development and regional cooperation, Bhutan solidified its longstanding relationship with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 5. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MoENR) and ICIMOD formalized this strategic partnership, paving the way for collaborative efforts in addressing environmental challenges and fostering socio-economic resilience in the region.

Bhutan, a founding member of ICIMOD since its establishment in 1983, has been actively engaged in periodic collaborations with the organization. However, this latest MoU signifies a more profound commitment, with the MoENR becoming the nodal agency for ICIMOD’s activities in Bhutan following the civil service reforms of 2022.

The signing ceremony, attended by energy and natural resources minister Lyonpo Gem Tshering, saw the exchange of documents between Karma Tshering, Secretary of MoENR, and Pema Gyamtsho (PhD), Director General of ICIMOD. Minister Gem Tshering expressed optimism about the partnership, stating, “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.”

Dr Pema Jamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD, emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and knowledge exchange, stating, “Our partnership with MoENR underlines our dedication to addressing environmental challenges and fostering socio-economic resilience in the region.”

The collaboration aligns with ICIMOD’s new strategy, “2030: Moving Mountains,” and the 5th Medium-Term Action Plan (MTAP V) spanning 2023 to 2026. According to a press release from ICIMOD, the partnership aims to contribute to Bhutan’s development agenda, focusing on critical areas such as reducing climate and environmental risks, shaping resilient mountain economies, and enabling sustainable regional mechanisms.

To ensure effective implementation and coordination, the Bhutan-ICIMOD Coordination Committee and the Bhutan Country Desk were established and formalized after the signing ceremony. These entities will streamline efforts, maximize impact, and provide a platform for ongoing collaboration between Bhutan and ICIMOD.

The strategic partnership between Bhutan and ICIMOD is poised to make significant strides in addressing pressing environmental issues and promoting sustainable development in the region, marking a positive step towards a resilient and prosperous future.

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