The Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTF) is the world’s first environmental trust fund, established on 6th March 1991 as a collaborative venture between the Royal Government of Bhutan, United Nations Development Program, and World Wildlife Fund. An endowment of US$20 million was set as target for an innovative mechanism for sustainablefinancing of conservation programs in Bhutan. Donors to the trust fund include the World Wildlife Fund, Global Environment Facility, the governments of Bhutan, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. 

BTF was incorporated under the Royal Charter in May 1996, which was revised in 2021, “keeping the present needs and ensure relevance and role of BTF to meet the future challenges”

The Trust Fund’s management is governed by a high-level Board of Trustees, while the day-to-day business is conducted through a small Secretariat. Today, BTF is an effective conservation grantmaking organisation, autonomous of the government, with its endowment fund reaching US$81 million as of December 2021.

Since its inception, BTF has awarded more than 238 projects amounting to over US$25 million. Projects are granted through Request for Proposals process with an overall budget of US$1.5 to 2 million annually.

In May 1996, the trust fund was legally incorporated in Bhutan under Royal Charter. Today, it is an effective conservation grant making organisation autonomous of the government. The trust fund is governed by the Royal Charter of 1996 and a high-level Management Board that was fully Bhutanised in May 2001. The day to day business is conducted by the Secretariat headed by the Managing Director.

Strategic Plans

To strategize its conservation grant making, BTFEC is guided by five-year strategy plans that are being carried out since 1997.

Strategic Plan I
Strategic Plan II
Strategic Plan III

Important Informaton

At a Glance

  1. Ongoing projects : 21
    1. Large Grants : 21
    2. Small Grants : 0
  2. Investment and Return :
    1. Off shore : 52,514,885
    2. In country : 7,249,228
  3. Projects since Inception : 238
    1. Large Grants : 160
    2. Small Grants : 78

Mandated by the Royal Charter, BTFEC’s field programs encompass the three broad themes: Biodiversity Conservation, Ecosystem Management and Social Well-being.

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