Bhutan—Decentralisation and Renewable Natural Resource Management

Client: European Union

Duration: 2019-2021

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Country: Bhutan

Solutions: Environment Climate

Bhutan is a small country wedged between India and China with 60 percent of its population relying on agriculture-based livelihoods such as subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Twelve percent of the country’s people are poor. Most industrial sectors are cottage industries. Rugged mountainous terrain makes it difficult and expensive to build and maintain roads, transport, energy, and other infrastructure, so Bhutan’s long-term self-reliance will rely upon effectively managed local natural resources.

This project supports the implementation of the European Union (EU)-bilateral development cooperation strategy in Bhutan, with particular focus on the two ongoing EU budget support programs: 1) Rural Development and Climate Change, and 2) Local Governance and Fiscal Decentralization. The team has produced studies on agroforestry systems and practices, strategy and programme formulation, circular economies and waste recycling models, farm mechanisation potentials, and identification and management of fallow land.

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Sample Activities

  • Provide technical assistance and capacity building to improve the implementation of programs financed by the EU.
  • Facilitate related policy dialogue and engagement between the EU and the Royal Government of Bhutan.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the National Statistical Bureau and improve the statistical system at central and local levels to support effective renewable natural resources management and local governance of sustainable development.

Select Results

  • Conducted two overseas trainings in India for Government officials on evidence-based statistics for economic development, and on agricultural content communications application for use on mobile phones.
  • Conducted online training for government officials on value chain analyses and small business development.
  • Delivered several studies, including on local government rural revenue mobilisation strategy, agroforestry systems and practices, circular economies and waste recycling models, farm mechanisation potentials, and identification and management of fallow land.
  • Completed technical assistance work on livestock farm management, providing farm potential and strategic gap analysis with respect to the production capacity of inputs and their contribution to input demand in Bhutan.
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