The mountain kingdom of Bhutan may not seem an obvious place to look for lessons on addressing climate change. But on a recent visit I was impressed with how much this small country has achieved and also with its ambition. Bhutan has much to teach South Asia and the wider world. These lessons are especially relevant as the world negotiates in Paris a new pact on climate change at the International Climate Change Summit, known as COP21, which we all hope will eventually move the global economy to a low carbon and more resilient path. Continue reading Big lessons on climate change from a small country
Merak-Sakteng : Around 46 Merak and Sakteng locals will be trained to guide tourists and cook, as the nomadic community in north eastern Trashighang opens officially to tourists next month.
A team of around eight experienced guides and trekking cooks is conducting the training for 15 days each in Merak and Sakten for 10 local guides and 36 cooks, said a tourism council of Bhutan (TCB) official. The training starts today.
Of the 10 would be local guides, eight are class XII dropouts, and the rest are classes IX and X dropouts. “The cooks will be trained in preparing both continental and local food that blend with the tastes of tourists,” a TCB official said. Continue reading Nomadic community gears up for guests/tourists
Daniel Spitzer digs into Bhutan’s soil to make a profit and sustain livelihoods
13 December, 2009 – The government of Denmark and UNDP, Thimphu, are supporting the Bhutanese government to maximise people’s participation in developing and managing their own social, economic and environmental well being, and to minimise the negative impacts of a changing environment.
The Danish government committed DKK 70 million (approximately Nu 600m) on November 20 and the UNDP has committed USD 860,000 (Nu 38.7m approx). Continue reading Denmark & UNDP grant for Local Governance
Child workers work far beyond the time and day limits set by the [Bhutan’s] Labour and Employment Act, according to a study conducted by National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC).
The child labour study, which was conducted by sampling 650 child labourers between 6 and 14 years of age from six dzongkhags – two each from three regions – in the country, found that 37 percent of the children worked between eight and a half hours to 12 hours, and 20 percent worked for more than 12 hours a day. Eighty-nine percent of them started work before 8 am. Continue reading Children overworked
|SPECIAL PEOPLE, SIMPLE NEEDS: Ugyen Wangdi, a hearing impaired student of Drugyel LSS spells it out.|
International Disability Day 4 December, 2009 – In response to a question on what is the most important help he needed from the government, Ugyen Wangdi, a hearing impaired student of Drugyel lower secondary school wrote: “Books, pencil, paper, pen,” on a small green-board, pinned with a banner that read ‘Communicate through Reading and Writing’.
Ugyen Wangdi was part of an exhibition held yesterday to showcase the abilities of the mentally and physically challenged, as Bhutan observed International Day for Persons with Disabilities with the theme: Realising the millennium development goals for all.
The exhibition, held in the courtyard of the Druk Tashi Taj hotel, the only venue in the capital city with basic accessibility for the physically challenged, also had on display knitted weaves, woodcarvings, embroidery, artwork and a host of other items made by people with special needs. Continue reading An exhibition of abilities…
The first three-day nomadic festival will be held at Wangchuck Centennial Park in Bumthang starting December 26.
Nomads from all over Bhutan will come together dressed in their attires representing their regions and exchange their cultures and traditions.
Hundreds of nomads from Haa, Paro (Soi Yaksa), Thimphu (Naro), Gasa (Laya), Wangduephodrang (Sephu), Bumthang (Chhokhor, Tang, Shingkhar), Trashiyangtse (Bomdeling) and Trashigang (Merak and Sakten)will be participating.
During the three-day festival, various activities like awareness campaign on post-harvest of cordyceps, food safety and hygiene, yak and horse riding competition, yak bull lassoing, yak calf weight guessing and yak milking will be carried out. Traditional sports like dego, khuru, soksum and archery along with traditional songs and dances will be played. Continue reading Bhutan to organize first nomadic festival
Finding life difficult in Khalatsho, once famed for paddy, villagers abandon their homes
|Villagers have to take a treacherous path to Dewathang in the winter months|
28 November, 2009 – Once famous for paddy, the remote village of Khalatsho in Nganglam, Pemagatshel, is on the verge of being submerged by thickets and reverting into jungle once more.
Of its twelve households, only five remain. It has 15 residents, mostly in their forties, including two children, who will be joining school next year.
Thick overgrown bushes covering fallow paddy land, uncultivated for years, are drawing ever closer to the settlements.
Tigers get as close as to their animal sheds and have eaten up seven of their cattle this year alone. Elephants make loud noises at night and devour their maize, the village staple, which is grown twice a year. Continue reading Village returns to jungle
16 November, 2009 – Eight sponsors of the Buddha Dordenma (world’s tallest Buddha Statue) being constructed at the Kuensel phodrang, Thimphu, presented a cheque of Nu 10.09 million (USD 219,200) yesterday to the Prime Minister, Lyonchen Jigme Y Thinley yesterday.
[Note: Keeping in line with our philosophy and as part of our giving back policy, Bridge To Bhutan made a humble contribution to His Majesty’s Earthquake Relief Fund on 20th October 2009] Continue reading Asian Businessmen & family contributes to His Majesty’s Earthquake Relief (Kidu) fund
|Rural credit is crucial in improving lives in the farm|
Bhutan needs to adopt a national policy on micro finance. This was the message at a seminar on creating a suitable environment and regulatory framework for micro financing yesterday.
“There is no national policy at the moment,” said Dr Pema Choephyel, a BDFCL agriculture specialist who spoke at the seminar. With a national policy, Dr Pema told Kuensel, rural poverty alleviation would become more effective and faster. “We’ll be able to focus and target groups critically in need of credits,” he said, “It would also steer us in the right direction on how micro financing actually should be instituted according to international standards.”
More than 20 percent of Bhutan’s population live on less than US$ 1 a day, the threshold considered necessary to maintain an adequate standard of living. The government plans to reduce this poverty rate to less than 15 percent by 2013. Continue reading Microfinance policy crucial to alleviate poverty