Threats of Climate Change
The recently launched Human Development Report has put Bhutan’s environmental policies at a risk of reversal from the threats of climate change. This is a challenge to which the Bhutanese must rise to, although it’s not of its making, the report noted.
“Sustaining Bhutan’s human development progress must form a national priority and the basis for international cooperation. Actions to address climate change by the government should now be aligned by the Five Year Plans,” stated the report.
Mainstreaming environment into policies is one of the 14 recommendations the report has made for Bhutan to address the challenges of climate change. At present, there is no specific national policy or program for climate change adaptation and mitigation for Bhutan to guide external assistance, apart from the National Adaptation Plan of Action.
Another recommendation is to strengthen research and capacity development to produce reliable and accurate information. It should also develop the meteorological and hydrological services by improving the capacity to collect and analyze weather data, as well as prepare early warning and hazard forecasting.
The report recommends Bhutan to promote green industry and stated that it needs to curtail consumption of fossil fuels by industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Another important recommendation is to protect education infrastructure from climate shocks, and to make climate education part of curricula.
Earlier this year, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley issued a dire warning about the impact of Himalayan climate change, saying it could wreck the tiny kingdom’s ambitious plans to be a world leader in hydropower.