DoFPS gets the big­gest share of BTFEC’s fund­ing

Business Bhutan - - Money - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley

Re­ceiv­ing 37.86% of the to­tal funds that have been re­leased, the Depart­ment of For­est and Park Ser­vices (DoFPS) of the agri­cul­ture min­istry re­ceived the max­i­mum grants so far from the Bhutan Trust Fund for En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (BTFEC).

The other ben­e­fi­cia­ries in­clude the gov­ern­ment, min­istries, Civil So­ci­ety Or­ga­ni­za­tions (CSOs), au­tonomous agen­cies, monas­tic bod­ies, in­sti­tu­tions and pri­vate sec­tors in the coun­try. While the CSOs re­ceived 8.51% of the funds, Depart­ment of Live­stock (agri­cul­ture min­istry) and the Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion have re­ceived 6.86% and 6.11% re­spec­tively. The rest of the funds have been given to other agen­cies.

BTFEC’s Pro­gram Of­fi­cer, Ugyen Lhendup, dur­ing the BTFEC’s An­nual Stake­hold­ers’ Work­shop that was at­tended by project man­agers and fi­nance fo­cal per­sons in Phuentshol­ing last week, rea­soned that DoFPS is the high­est re­ceiver of the funds as the depart­ment man­dated for for­est pro­tec­tion has many things to do and is di­rectly linked with na­ture un­like other agen­cies.

He said with nu­mer­ous works to be done from pa­trolling, sur­vey­ing and other en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, DoFPS does not re­ceive suf­fi­cient funds from the gov­ern­ment and that BTFEC man­dates to fund for the depart­ment’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Their roles and ac­tiv­i­ties are di­rectly linked with en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion un­like oth­ers who take ini­tia­tives,” he said.

Mean­while, BTFEC funds agen­cies that pro­pose ac­tiv­i­ties for en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion across the na­tion. BTFEC has so far funded 209 projects worth over Nu 1bn un­der three cat­e­gories. It has funded 127 ma­jor projects worth more than Nu 938mn and 68 small grant projects worth over Nu 19mn. Also, the agency has funded 14 projects worth more than Nu 188mn with the sup­port from the Global En­vi­ron­ment Fa­cil­ity, World Bank. Thirty-one BTFEC funded projects are still un­der­way across the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to BTFEC of­fi­cial.

BTFEC, as an en­vi­ron­men­tal grant mak­ing agency, pro­vides grants for en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion ef­forts af­ter as­sess­ing pro­pos­als. The agency thor­oughly re­views the pro­pos­als us­ing its tech­ni­cal ex­perts be­fore ap­prov­ing the pro­posal.

“We se­lect the best pro­pos­als and se­lect only 20% of the to­tal pro­pos­als that we re­ceive. We fund them based on the qual­ity of the pro­pos­als and the im­pact it could bring in the en­vi­ron­ment,” Ugyen Lhendup.

The agency funds up to eight pro­pos­als an­nu­ally. Each project is en­ti­tled up to Nu 15mn based on the type of project. An­nu­ally BTFEC al­lo­cates Nu 100mn for project fund­ing.

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