April 2012 – March 2015

Implementing Agency

National Environment Commission (NEC)

Programme Area





Public: Transport, Housing (Energy Efficiency) and Municipal Solid Waste (for NAMAs). Transport and Industries (for LEDS)
Private/Industry: tbd

Country Context

Bhutan BTN-007HR-04 smallLocated in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan's landscape is mountainous, with elevations from 100m to 7000m, and dominated by high forest (70.46%) along steep slopes. The climate is influenced by monsoons, with 70% of the precipitation falling June to September.vii Bhutan is ranked among the top ten countries with the highest species density in the world, and has the highest fraction of land in Protected Areas (43% of the country's total area in 2009) and the highest proportion of forest cover of any Asian country.viii The first democratic elections were held in 2008. Socio-economic development in Bhutan is guided by the philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), promulgated by His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.


Agriculture is the most significant socioeconomic sector, with 69% of the population engaged in this activity, mostly in subsistence farming. According to its Second National Communication, Bhutan is a net carbon sink, with emissions by agriculture (64% of emissions), energy (17%), industry (15%) and waste (3%) being over-compensated by carbon removal from the forested areas. The government has committed in 2009 to a goal of remaining carbon neutral and has recently finalised a Carbon Neutral Strategy. Additionally the 1998 National Environment Strategy is being updated in 2012 to incorporate low-emission, climate-resilient perspectives and to reflect changes in socio-economic and environmental conditions.ix

The national strategic framework further comprises the Royal Government of Bhutan's 11th Five Year Plan for socio-economic development (2013-2018), the 'Declaration of the Kingdom of Bhutan – The Land of Gross National Happiness to Save our Planet' (2009), the National Forest Policy (2008), the Economic Development Policy (2010), the Carbon Neutrality Strategy (2012), as well as the "National Environment Strategy – The Middle Path". Further national key documents include the Second National Communication, which is under preparation, Bhutan's National Human Development Report 2011, the 2008-14 UN Development Assistance Framework, Country Programme Action Plan and UNDP Country Programme of Bhutan.x

Bhutan participates in the Low-Emission Capacity-Building Project to enhance its GHG inventory system, to develop NAMAs and prepare LEDS in selected sectors, as well as to design a MRV system for identified NAMAs and LEDS.


Planned Outputs of the Project

The objective of the project is to promote low-emission, carbon resilient development that is tailored to the national context. This will be achieved through a focus on four outcomes:

  • GHG inventory data system enhanced through improvement of Environment Information Management System and the National Forest Inventory
  • Three energy efficiency NAMAs developed in transport, housing and municipal solid waste management sectors
  • LEDS prepared for industrial and road transport sectors
  • MRV system designed for identified NAMAs and LEDS.

The project implementation strategy includes: providing training to the stakeholders; defining the potential areas of NAMAs and LEDS; identifying working group leaders and stakeholders for the NAMAs, LEDS and GHG inventory system/MRV working groups; developing NAMAs, LEDS and the MRV systems followed by an action plan.

The Project is operated at the national level, but seeks to engage relevant stakeholders at all levels; national, in the local governments, industries, transport sector, civil societies and relevant private sectors. The UNDP Country Office ensures the necessary linkages of this national project with the UN Development Assistance Framework in close coordination with the Global Support Team more specifically by:

  • Understanding both the beneficial and detrimental linkages between climate change and development
  • Using this knowledge to strengthen the national development framework and UN Development Assistance Framework priorities
  • Addressing climate change related risks and opportunities as early as possible in UN-supported programmes and projects
  • Tracking progress towards achievement of UN Development Assistance Framework outcomes, including their contribution to climate resilience and low-carbon development at the national level.

The project is expected to supplement Bhutan's national strategies and plans. The project will also consider social issues like human rights and gender equality in its implementation processes. As considered in the national and UN reference documents the concerns of environment, poverty and gender, the LECB project will also give equal recognition of the pertinent issues and consider equal opportunities for women to participate in the capacity building and strategies (NAMAs, LEDS, MRV) development activities.xi



The National Environment Commission, chaired by the Prime Minister is the designated Implementing Partner for the LECB Project in Bhutan. The Project Management Secretariat will be therefore accommodated within the Climate Change Division of the NEC Secretariat. The Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), which is the Planning Commission in Bhutan, will endorse the project on behalf of the Royal Government and undertake the lead role in mainstreaming NAMAs, LEDS and MRV systems into the national policies, plans and strategies in the near future.

A Project Management Board chaired by the NEC Secretary and represented by GHNC, UNDP and two members from the Multi-stakeholder Committee for Climate Change (MSTCCC) will oversee the overall implementation of the project and endorse the project work plan, budgets and the project outcome/outputs.

The Project Management Secretariat which will undertake the day to day functions will be headed by a Project Manager designated from the Climate Change Division, NEC. A taskforce will be responsible for identifying relevant stakeholders, specific NAMAs and LEDS activities and developing the NAMAs, LEDS and MRV under the guidance of the Project Manager. Therefore, the taskforce members will also be the Technical Working Group members split into specific NAMAs, LEDS and MRV working groups.xii

Bhutan institutional arrangements

vii Project Document
viii Nature Conservation Division (2002) and Biodiversity Action Plan for Bhutan: http://www.moa.gov.bt/moa/downloads/downloadFiles/MoADownload6lc7024yf.pdf
ix Second National Communication 2011
x Project Document
xi Project Document
xii Project Document
Photo credit: UNDP https://connect.undp.org/Cumulus/ng/,DanaInfo=occumulus.undp.org+recordview.jspx

National Stats

Total Area
38,394 sq kmi
716,896 (2012)ii
GDP per capita
$6,200 (2011)iii
Population below national poverty line
12% (2012)iv
CO2 emission estimates per capita
0.86 metric tons (2007)v


Country Documents

National Communications

Initial National Communication (November 2000)

Second National Communication (November 2011)vi

Inauguration Workshop:
27 March 2013, Thimpu
download workshop material

National Documents
Gender Capacity Needs Assessment
Gender Capacity Needs Assessment - Annex


i See CIA Factbook https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bt.html
ii Ibid.
iii Ibid.
iv See http://www.nsb.gov.bt/publication/files/pub10at10635il.pdfl
v See UN Stats: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/air_co2_emissions.htm
vi See UNFCCC: http://unfccc.int/national_reports/non-annex_i_natcom/items/2979.php