Grants Description

Narrative Technical Progress Report for January to December 2013

Ongoing Projects

1.  Grant MB0137Y14: Securing Rangeland soil carbon through Yak herding within Thrumshingla National Park

01Aug13-30Jul16

The Management Board of BTFEC has provided a grant of Nu. 8,200,000 to Department of Livestock for securing rangeland soil carbon through community yak herding within the Thrumshingla National Park in Central Bhutan for sustainable management of rangeland resources to mitigate climate change factors, development and restore degraded range land areas with pasture development (acres) and establish yak nucleus herd. This project was delayed and became operational only from September 2013 due to the election process in the country.

Progress:

  • Through the consultation meeting held in Kizom on 12th November 2013, the communities of Naruth and Kizom villages in Tang Geog are aware of the project and the importance of sustainable rangeland management in the long run. They have agreed to render support in terms of providing no objection certificate in utilizing their Tsamdro (rangeland) for fencing the identified degraded rangeland area.

2. Grant No.MB0136Y14: Integrating PES and REDD+ in Bhutan

01 Aug13-30 July 16

A grant of Nu. 11,515,000 was awarded to Watershed Management Division, Department of Forests and Park Services to integrate PES and REDD+ in Bhutan for development of National PES (policy) framework in line with the emerging REDD+ strategy, exploring, designing and implementation of PES schemes at three sites with relevant BDS (Benefit Distributing System) and PFM modalities and capacity building of the stakeholders at various level.

Progress:

  • Evaluation of Yakpugang PES scheme took place
  • Meeting with different stakeholders (30 stakeholders completed)
  • National level Inception Workshop on PES took place
  • Site visit to Phobjikha eco-tourism and scenic beauty completed

3. MB0135Y14: Examine Dietary patterns of Asiatic elephant in co-relation to crop raiding

01 July 2013 through 30 June 2016

The Management Board has approved a total grant of Nu. 18,27,000 to Department of Forests and Park Services to examine the dietary pattern of Asiatic elephants in co-relation to crop raiding in the sub-tropical regions of Bhutan.  Further, through this project, it is envisaged that the study on seasonality movement of the elephants will be able to get information on the habitat use, dietary pattern and its home range. Most importantly, this project hopes to manage the human elephant conflict to some extend and ensure conservation of elephants in Bhutan.

Progress:

The budget for 2013-2014 was approved, but we applied for supplementary budget incorporation and the budget was incorporated only at the end of December 2013. Because of the delay in the budget incorporation, no activities could be implemented till December 2013 and the fund remained unspent.

4. MB0134Y14: Conservation of Native Tree Species through Nursery Development at Samtenling Palace

01 July 2013 through 30 June 2016

The Management Board had granted Nu.10,439,000 to Royal Project Coordination office for Conservation of Native Tree Species through Nursery Development at Samtenling Palace area for the establishment of tree centres with nursery facilities to produce trees for urban greening and capacity development at Professional and Operational levels for Urban Forestry and Landscaping.

Progress:

  • Nursery for production of native tree species is established in Samtenling Palace Area (6.5 Acres).
  • These activities are completed under the objective of nursery establishment: Clearing, terracing and leveling of the for establishment of nursery beds; Fencing of the area with entrance gate; Establishment of 3 greenhouses; Establishment of mother beds, beds for small poly pots and large polypots; Installation of irrigation system (including sprinklers, distribution tank) for all terraces, and main water supply to the nursery; Establishment of garden pond for irrigation; Procurement of super-root air pots, and associated nursery tools and equipment; Exploration and shortlisting of relevant tree species for production at the nursery; Collection of tree seeds, saplings, seeds, cuttings, root-balls for multiplication at the nursery
  • A Professional Expert Team has been formed with resource persons from Department of Forests & Park Services, Department of Agriculture, and Thimphu Thromde;
  • Operational Team has been recruited in from of Elementary Service Personnel.
  • Two Satellite Nurseries for growing trees produced at Samtenling is currently under development at Nizerkha-Thimphu(23 Acres), and Changaphu-Thimphu (15 Acres);
  • At Nizerkha these activities are complete: Demarcation of nursery area and clearing of terrace areas; Obtained relevant environmental clearances development works;  Excavation of 1.8 KM of access and internal roads;

5. MB0133Y14: Langjophakha Greenery Park – Phase II

01 July ’13 through 30 June ’14

Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) desires to provide a grant for Establishment of Lanjophakha Greenery Park-Phase II to create Lanjohakha Greenery Park as a multi-purpose reserve area that serves as a recreational space for the public, a memorial garden, an environmental educational hub for schools and institutions and preserve and maintain the sanctity of Bhutan’s Capital Dzong combining natural and cultural elements.

Progress:

The following activities have been undertaken successfully:

  • Preparation of drawings and Bill of Quantities
  • Awarding of works to the contractor
  • Landscaping
  • Root-balling and collection of plants from different locations
  • Plantation in the upper part towards Heju
  • Exposure tour for the gardeners to Sikkim, India
  • Construction of natural barrier along the Wangchuk River bank
  • Procurement of leaf mould and boulders
  • Procurement of undressed flat stones
  • Construction of two gazebos
  • Purchased grass cutter and HDP pipe

6. MB0132Y13: Rural Live-stock & Agricultural Crops Insurance Scheme

 01 June ‘13 through 31 May ’16

Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation has funded a grant towards the establishment of Rural Live-stock and Agricultural Crops Insurance Scheme of Nu.500,000 each in 205 Gewogs of Bhutan for the formation of GECCs so that the local communities can be compensated for the livestock/ crop damage by the wildlife and fund addition to the 8 existing GECCs since the interest generated from the earlier seed money (Nu.30,000) was not sufficient to compensate the grieved farmers.

Progress:
Note: None, since the project activities could not be implemented and fund remains unspent. It was primarily because of delay in supplementary budget incorporation by the Department of National Budget.

7. Grant MB0130Y13: Documentation of Bhutan’s National Animal Takin: it’s Migration, Population Status, Ecology and behavior.

01 July 2013 through 30 June 2016

A grant of Nu. 5,481,000 was granted to Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment to document the population status and demographic structure, behavioral, activity patterns habitats (both summer and winter) as well as migration routes in Jigme Dorji National Park of Bhutan’s national animal Takin.

Progress:

  • Collared Animals: So far, only four male Takins have been collared and all the collars have been function well and it is hoped that the on board storage facility of the collar is storing the data which will be downloaded at the summer habitat.
  • Data downloads: It was satisfying to learn that all the collars are function well and have been able to download data before their departure to winter habitat. The data download initiations was unsuccessful despite three trips to Damji (winter habitat) of JDNP.

8. Grant MB0129Y14: Introducing Environmental science in Formal Education in Bhutan

   01 July 2013 through 31 June 2016

Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation provided a grant to Royal Society of Protection of Nature to introduce Environmental science in Formal Education in Bhutan to improve the quality and access to Environmental Studies information, resources and programs in schools through curriculum enhancement of Primary, Access the standard and level of Environmental Studies I class PP to VIII to facilitate development of Environmental Science in classes IX and X, develop Environmental Science framework for in classes PP-XII and initiate Environmental Science in classes IX and X and enhance its delivery.

Progress:

  • Situation analysis of Environmental Education/ Science from classes PP to degree level conducted and situation analysis report produced.
  • Environmental Science curriculum framework developed for classes PP to XII based on the situation analysis report, an Environmental Science curriculum framework for classes PP to XII developed and report produced.

9. Grant MB0128Y13: Natural Resource Management in the Highlands for Sustainable Livelihood & Green Economy (Laya-Sephu)

01 January 2013 through 31 December 2015

Progress:

  • Laya-Sephu communities are aware on the project, its activities and how natural resource management in the highlands is crucial for not only highlanders but for everyone. Dzongkhag administrations both in Gasa and Wangdi Dzongkhag has agreed to render engineering services to the 2 gewogs to ensure project activities can be carried out as planned.
  • Community Based Insurance Scheme in Laya and Sephu Gewogs: Through the consultative meetings held in the 2 dzongkhags and 2 gewogs, the community people have developed positive attitude towards such an insurance scheme.
  • Similarly in Laya, they were not keen to accept this scheme before. After in-depth briefing now they have realized the importance of instituting such a scheme and how it will benefit the entire community. This will lead to formation of two community based insurance schemes.

10. MB0127Y13: National Forest Inventory Data Collection from Western Region

01 January 2013 through 31 December 2015

Under the previous BTFEC funded project, National Forestry Inventory & Ecosystem Health Monitoring (2010-2012), the Forest Resources Management Division, Department of Forest & Park Services had successfully completed the Preparatory Phase (Phase I) activities, which formed an integral part of the National Forestry Inventory (NFI).

In December 2012, BTFEC extended grant of Nu. 14,915,000 to conduct studies and collect information on Bhutan’s forests, and set NFI as the single authoritative source of forestry data at the national level. It envisages to establish the baseline information on the vast parameters of forests not limited to timber but comprehensive information of biodiversity, fuel-wood, wildlife and carbon stock of Bhutan.

Progress:

  • Training on carbon assessment methodology for understory carbon pools was conducted at Bumthang from October 2-6, 2013
  • A total of 184 NFI sample plots in Thimphu and Punakha Dzongkhags have been enumerated by 12 NFI crews
  • Meeting with Local Government officials of Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang dzongkhags conducted

11. Grant MB0126Y13: Fish Fauna Assessment: Study on Species Composition & Distribution of Fish in Bhutan’s Three Major River Basin.

01 January 2013 through 31 December 2015

In December 2012, during the 34th Management Board Meeting, a grant of Nu.11,900,00 was awarded to the National Cold Water Fishery Center, Department of Livestock, to study and develop Bhutan’s national fishery database, primarily comprising of species composition and distribution of fish in particular, in the three major river basins, namely the Amochu/Toorsa river, the Wangchu river and the Punatsangchu/Sankosh river and all their tributaries.

Progress report (July-December):

  • The Centre recruited three project staff through open competition: Fishery Technician (Graduate level): 2 numbers. Project Administrative Officer (Graduate level): 1 number.
  • Hiring of Project Consultant: The Centre will employ services of a renowned Ichthyologist from Kasetsart University, Thailand as the project consultant for the first year. The terms of references, stating clear-cut roles and responsibilities of the consultant has been developed. The consultant was scheduled to arrive in March/April 2014.
  • Designating Fishery Focal Point: The Centre successfully selected at designated fishery focal point from various district livestock sectors, park and forestry offices. These officials shall act as collaborators in their respective areas/ districts during field surveys.
  • Human Resource Development: Training of fishery staff: In-country training (9th Sept till 12th Sept 2013)- The Centre organizes a four day training cum workshop for the fishery focal points from different District livestock sectors, park offices along with basic

hands on training on fish biology and taxonomy. Along with it, the participants were also briefed on the types of methods and tools being employed for the assessment. Ex-country training in advanced fish taxonomy, population dynamic and limnology, in the Kasetsart University, Thailand for forty days.

  • Procurement of office and laboratory equipment: The Centre has procured and sent supply orders for the following items upon reviewing quality and standards for the project. 1. Professional Digital Camera (1 No) 2. Macro Lens (1 No) 3. Inflatable Rubber Boat (1 No) – Supply order dispatched but yet to receive.4. Fish Sampling Bottles (50 Nos.) – Supply order dispatched but yet to receive.5. Life Jackets- Yet to receive. 6. Chest Waders- Yet to receive. 7. Nets (drag nets, cast nets and gill nets) – supply order dispatched.

Hiring of Vehicle. The Centre hired a project vehicle for conducting preliminary site selection along the three major river basins. The vehicle was hired for a period of one month.

12. Grant MB0118Y13: Comprehensive Assessment of Climate Change Impacts (NBC)

01 July 2012 through 31 December 2015

In July 2012, the National Biodiversity Centre was awarded Nu.7.89 million to carry out systematic investigations of endemic plant diversity in the Himalayas and to understand the impacts of climate change through assessing vulnerability of endemic plant species, and the persistence of biological diversity in the face of climate change.

Progress:

  • Some 39 books Himalayan plants were reviewed, mainly on Meconopsis spp. and orchids. Meconopsis bhutanica is added to the endemic list. Currently, only 14 species of orchids are recorded as endemic. However, with subsequent literature reviews three species namely, Cephalantha erecta var. oblanceolata, Oreorchis, sanguinea and Eria bhutanica, were added accounting to 17 species;
  • To start with activity of studying specimens in the regions, the herbarium of Botanical survey of India, Sikkim was selected due to its location in the eastern Himalayas.
  • Orchid specialist of BSI was consulted for correct identification of species and also to gather more information on the endemic orchids of Bhutan.
  • Field visits for proper site selections and establishment of sampling plots including permanent plots were under taken in the following regions of the country: a) Nine sampling plots established following a transect from 3400 to 4129m in the temperature and alpine regions of Haa, with a focus on Meconopsis superba. b) Seven sampling plots established from 2931 to 3859m along Chelala transect, with a focus on Meconopsis nepalensis. c) 14 sampling established from 3515 to 4874m, following a trensection from Thangthangkha to Nyelela, Paro, with a focus on Meconopsis bhutanica.
  • Nine sampling plots established from 350-1828m in subtropical regions of Samdrup Jongkhar and Pema Gatshel districts with a focus on endemic orchid species.
  •  Point data collected for Epigenium navacularis from Zhemgang and Nurphang, Samdrup Jongkhar and Pentasacme pulcherrima from Walkletar, Tsirang and Deothang, Samdrup Jongkhar. The potential project sites were selected in a fairly intact forest/ alpine scrub indicated by presence of pioneer plant species and with minimal disturbances due to human interference, grazing by domestic animals and colonization of habitat by invasive plant species.
  • Ecological data, herbarium specimens, samples of soil and leaf litter were collected. The soil samples will be processed and deposited at the National Soil Service Center for further analysis. The floristic composition in the region was also documented.
  • Over 500 herbarium specimens were collected from the above mentioned project sites. The herbarium specimens will be processed  (press, dry, identify, label, mount on the herbarium sheet) and catalogued in the National Herbarium.

13. Grant No. MB0117Y13: Water Resource Inventory to Assess Availability of Water for Various Uses

01 July 2012 through 30 June 2014

During the 33rd meeting of the Management Board, the National Environment Commission was awarded a grant of Nu.10,159,000.00, to conduct an in-depth study on water resources across the country in order to generate knowledge on water sources and the situation of water availability. Furthermore, the study will also link up the actual field situation with the possible foreseen impacts of Climate Change on the water sources in Bhutan.

Progress:

  • Field Survey in all 205 Gewogs: The enumerators have been sent to the Dzongkhags along with Supervisors from WRCD. Water source inventory for the country has been completed but household perception survey is still ongoing.
  • Data Collection: Data from the inventory exercise is being collected. A database for storing and sharing the inventory data has been selected and all installation process are complete. At present, temporary workers have started punching the data into the database.

14.  MB0113Y12: Linking Tourism, Biodiversity Conservation and Cultural Preservation through Eco-campsite Development at Phajoding.

January 2012 through December 2012 –Extended till Sep 2013

The lack of proper camping facilities poses huge risk both on the ecology as well as the cultural heritage. The adverse impacts to the area have not gone unnoticed and the World Monument

Fund (WMF) has enlisted Phajoding monastery as one of the five most endangered cultural monuments in need of help. The large number of visitation by international and domestic tourists without proper user facilities will continue degrading the natural and cultural resources.

The Nature Recreation and Eco-tourism Division was awarded Nu.4.5 million to reduce the adverse impacts of the visitation on the area and help in preserving the cultural and ecological heritage; by encouraging support for the conservation through an incentive based approach: Eco-tourism, and create a site to promote environmental awareness.

Progress:

  • A Model campsite with all the proper amenities and interpretative signages incorporating traditional designs. The facilities includes: Public toilets, cooking sheds, waste bins, information/ display boards, water   supply and walking trails, campground and a guest house for local visitors is in place for tourist and local visitors.
  • Management of the campground, user guidelines and fees is under process of development.

15. MB0101Y11: Sustainable Rural Biomass Energy (Ministry of Economic Affairs)

01 January 2013 through 31 December 2015

Initially approved in May 2011 during the 31st Management Board Meeting, the project got shelved due to non-release of funds by co-funder, GEF/UNDP. The project was formally implemented in January 2013.

The Sustainiable Rural Biomass Energy project is a three year programme, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse emissions through the sustainable production and utilization of biomass, through the promotion and dessimination of efficient cook stoves in the rural areas of Bhutan; and implementation of demonstration biomass energy technologies in relevant industries using wood as fuel. Submitted by the Department of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the project was awarded a grant of Nu.15 million as co-fund from BTFEC.

Progress:

  • The Project Management Unit (PMU)  has employed M/s Bhutan Statistical Services and Environmental   Consultancy based in Thimphu to conduct survey on assessment of fuel-wood consumption and baseline health study in Bhutan.  The contract agreement was signed on 4th December 2013 and final report is due on 31 January 2014.
  • The PMU has visited the consultant’s recommend sawmills for pilot gasification project for their willingness to invest for the gasification technologies. The PMU has visited sawmill in M/s Norden Pines and M/s Udee Sawmill both based in Bhumthang
  • The PMU has printed and laminated 5, 000(five thousand) copies of brochures and distributed to beneficiaries
  • The PMU has employed M/s S. Dorji Fabrication Unit based in Jemina to fabricate and supply the metallic parts of stoves under Trashigang Dzongkhag.  To this effect the fabricator is in process of mobilizing the metallic parts and processing of fabrication works. The PMU has visited the site for inspection and monitoring of works
  • Developed and printed 5,000 copies of improved stove’s brochures
  • The PMU has hired M/s S. Dorji Fabrication Unit based in Bjemina to fabricate and supply the improved stove metallic parts under Trashigang Dzongkhag
  • The PMU has hired M/s Bhutan Statistical and Environmental Conservation the national consultant for to conduct survey of assessment of fuel-wood consumption and baseline health study in Bhutan.

16. MB0099Y11: Piloting Integrated Solid Waste Management in Bajothang

01 July 2011 through 30 June 2014

In June 2011, a grant of Nu. eight million was awarded to Wangdue Municipality, Wangdue Dzongkhag Administration, to establish an integrated solid waste management system and develop appropriate mechanisms by involving private partners and informal sector in solid waste management.

Progress:

  • Procured 12 Nos. of garbage containers of 4.50 cm capacity;
  • Procured 1 unit dumper truck instead of compactor truck due to cost difference;
  • Constructed composting unit at Omlum, Nahi;
  • Constructed PET bottle bailing press machine shed at Bajothang town.
  • Distribution of waste bins of 200 liters carrying capacity is going on;
  • Construction of compositing shed at Nahi is 80% complete;
  • Construction of PET bottle shredding at Bajothang is 70% complete
  • Procured 131 nos. of garbage bins 360 its capacity from M/s Kinley suppliers, Thimphu. Bins will be used for inorganic waste collection.
  • Study tour to Bangkok as part of capacity building for service providers was undertaken. Team met with CEO of Wangpanit Recycling Plant and received advice, which are very much relevant to Wangdue Municipality.

17. MB0142Y14: Implement Conservation Management Plan of Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve

(No Reporting for this period)

18. MB0143Y14: Support for 14th ISE, International Congress of Ethono-biology

(No Reporting for this period)

19. MB0144Y14: Develop Biomass Equations to estimate biomass for assessing national carbon Stock

(No Reporting for this period)

20. MB0145Y14: Thimphu Community Ecological Park

(No Reporting for this period)

Small Discretionary Grants (No reporting for this period)

21. SC0123 Y 14: Greening of Football Federation along the Wangchu

22. SC0125Y14: Integrated Waste Management Awareness Program

23. SC0126Y14: Supply of Electrical Cookers as Fuel Wood Alternative

24. SC0121Y13: Solar Fencing at Singye Village, Sarpang Dzongkhag

There are five High Altitude Northern Areas projects (No reporting for this period)

1. MB0128Y13: Natural Resource Management in the Highlands for Sustainable Livelihood and Green Economy (This is also reflected in the progress narrative above)

2. MB0138Y14: Strengthen resource monitoring, patrolling and service delivery of JDNP

3. MB0139Y14: Enhance management efficiency of BWS through integrated and participatory approach

4. MB0140Y14: Enhance efficiency and initiate sustainability of Wangchuck Centennial Park Management

5. MB0141Y14: Revive degraded rangelands in the Northern Frontier through soil and land management tech.