Bhutan to be car­bon neu­tral

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

hu­tan has com­mu­ni­cated its In­tended Na­tion­ally De­ter­mined Con­tri­bu­tion ( INDC) to the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change ( UNFCC) sec­re­tar­iat last Wed­nes­day to re­main car­bon neu­tral. The Vice chair­man of the Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Com­mis­sion and the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Forests in a let­ter to the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of the UN Cli­mate Change Sec­re­tar­iat said that Bhutan‘s INDC builds on the dec­la­ra­tion to re­main car­bon neu­tral made in 2009 and as a highly vul­ner­a­ble land locked moun­tain­ous coun­try, an adap­tion com­po­nent is also in­cluded in INDC.

The let­ter fur­ther states that Bhutan re­main com­mit­ted to the ideals and mis­sions of the UNFCC and ne­go­ti­a­tions process to adopt a legally bind­ing agree­ment at the twenty ses­sion of the con­fer­ence of par­ties in De­cem­ber 2015.

Bhutan is highly vul­ner­a­ble to ad­verse im­pacts on cli­mate change due to the frag­ile moun­tain­ous ecosys­tem and eco­nomic struc­ture. The most vul­ner­a­ble sec­tors are wa­ter re­sources, agri­cul­ture, forests & bio di­ver­sity and hy­dro power sec­tors. It is pro­jected that both the fre­quency and in­ten­sity for ex­treme cli­mate events would in­crease with chang­ing cli­mate.

Ma­jor ex­ist­ing laws and poli­cies ap­pli­ca­ble to the INDC from Bhutan in­clude the Con­sti­tu­tion of the King­dom of Bhutan, Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Act ( NEPA) 2007 , Na­tional For­est Pol­icy 2011 and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy ( EDP) 2010.

Some of the strate­gies on the mit­i­ga­tion ef­forts rest

Bon con­serv­ing our forests as car­bon sinks, man­ag­ing the grow­ing emis­sions as a re­sult of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment will be through pri­or­ity strate­gies, plans and ac­tions for mit­i­ga­tion to sup­port a low emis­sion de­vel­op­ment path­ways.

The gases cov­ered in­clude car­bon diox­ide, meth­ane and ni­trous ox­ide as they are shown to be pri­or­ity gases. Some of the mea­sures in­clude the sus­tain­able for­est man­age­ment and con­ser­va­tion of bio di­ver­sity o en­sure sus­tained en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices through sus­tain­able man­age­ment of for­est man­age­ment of for­est man­age­ment units ( FMU’s) , pro­tected ar­eas , com­mu­nity forests , for­est ar­eas out­side FMU’s and pri­vate forests.

The other ar­eas is the pro­mo­tion of low car­bon trans­port sys­tem by im­prov­ing mass transit and de­mand side man­age­ment of per­sonal modes of trans­port, ex­plor­ing al­ter­na­tive modes of trans­port to road trans­port such as rail, wa­ter and grav­ity rope­ways, im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency in freight trans­port, pro­mot­ing non – mo­tor­ized trans­port and non fos­sil pow­ered trans­port such as elec­tric and fuel cell ve­hi­cles and pro­mot­ing use of ap­pro­pri­ate in­tel­li­gent trans­port sys­tems.

With Bhutan emit­ting about 2.2mil­lion tonnes of car­bon diox­ide which is off­set by 4.4 mil­lion tonnes of CO2 on ex­port of hy­dropower, the need for con­trol on the ad­verse im­pacts on the cli­mate change is al­ways there to keep our hy­dro projects run­ning. With­out hy­dropower Bhutan will be al­ways de­pen­dent on the donor coun­tries in all its planned ac­tiv­i­ties.

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