Message From the Chairman
It is a privilege to be associated with a pioneering organization created under the visionary leadership of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Since its establishment in 1992, the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) has played a central role in providing sustainable financing for conservation of environment and biodiversity in Bhutan. As BTFEC has been successfully promulgating innovative financing mechanism modality and playing a leadership role in supporting biodiversity conservation, it has been widely referred as best practices for setting up of similar trust funds around the world.
Twenty-six years since inception, the impact of our interventions on Bhutan’s natural environment has been significant. BTFEC support contributed to remarkable progress with creation of a system of protected areas, training of Bhutanese individuals, strengthening existing and launching new institutions, and carrying out research. Disciplined investment management and opportune decisions guided the growth of the original Trust Fund capital, which increased, from US$20.3 million to more than US$67.501 million today, and allowed over US$20 million in grants to be distributed in support of pressing conservation needs.
The Third Strategy Plan (2015-2020) is designed to fulfill BTFEC’s mission to serve our society by funding appropriate environmental projects and preserve Bhutan’s natural environment for local and global benefit. The Plan highlights an immediate and increased need for meaningful engagement in conservation by rural populations, civil societies, local government, academia and the private sectors. BTFEC also believes that the cooperation of other institutions working on the same or similar conservation challenges will magnify the impacts of BTFEC funding.
As we are mid-way to 2020, we are, of course, still a long way from achieving the outcomes we seek. Success will require more hard work and a redoubling of our commitment to service and collaboration in the spirit and the values of our Bhutanese community. I heartily commend the staff and project-implementing partners who have helped bring success, and humbly thank the management board, members of committees, the secretariat, donors and patrons for their support.
Dr Sonam Phuntsho