Bhutan will submit the second national communication project, the country’s national report that contains the actions and needs to address climate change in Bhutan. It will be an important reference document for all national stakeholders and international partners and donors to know the concerns and priority actions for Bhutan to address climate change.
The National environment Commission (NEC) Secretary, Dr. Ugyen Tshewang, who will attend COP17, said the report has been prepared after consultations were held with all the major stakeholders who are affected by climate change in Bhutan.
“It contains our priorities and concerns of actions and unless we send this message through, it will be difficult for us to mobilize or garner international support to fund our actions against climate change,” said Dr. Ugyen Tshewang.
One of the obvious stands of Bhutan would be to seek a definite time line for emission cuts. Dr. Ugyen Tshewang said Bhutan has stronger reasons to pressurize the developed nations.
“First we are not at all responsible for causing climate change and our contribution is nil. Second, as we are a developing country we are going to have dual tasks, one to pick up economic growth and the other to adapt to climate change,” he said.
He said one of the negotiations will be to extend the time frame of the legally binding Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.
“The developing countries say that the time frame should be extended and hopefully it will be done this time while another legally binding agreement, the long term cooperative action, will also hopefully get through,” he said.
Bhutan will also be seeking for appropriate finances for adaptive measures and also seek support from development partners.
On the sidelines of COP 17 Bhutan will be showcasing the outcomes of the Bhutan Climate Summit which will be held next week in Thimphu where four eastern Himalayan nations (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal) will participate. The event will showcase the road maps on food security, energy security, water security, and biodiversity.
In 2009, at Copenhagen, Bhutan committed itself to remain carbon neutral for all times to come. As a follow up, Bhutan is working on how to remain carbon neutral.
“Bhutan made various initiatives and one is carbon neutral. It is a strong commitment. For this commitment, a carbon neutral strategy is being prepared which will tell us how to remain carbon neutral,” said Dr. Ugyen Tshewang.
Last year during COP16 at Cancun, Bhutan as a chair of SAARC submitted a common stand of the SAARC countries.
This year there will also be a common position of SAARC presented at COP 17. The ninth SAARC environment ministers meet held in Thimphu last October saw the member countries agreeing to come up with one position.
During the meet, the agriculture and forest minister, Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho, who will lead the delegation at COP17 said SAARC countries will take a common stand which includes accessing the global fund for climate change.
He said the need for transparency in terms of allocating the global finance resources for the member countries will be one of the common stands.