Bhutan to be carbon neutral
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.