The Hon. Secretary of National Environment Commission lead a delegation from Bhutan to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Marrakech, Morocco from 7-8 November. The Marrakech Conference comprises of the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 22), 12th Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP12) and the first Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1).
The Bhutanese delegation comprises officials of National Environment Commission and other relevant agencies of the Royal Government of Bhutan. At the conference, the delegation was involved in the negotiations to draft the ‘rulebook’ for implementation of the Paris Agreement.
In Marrakech, Bhutan joined other Parties in welcoming the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and called for early action to realize its implementation.
Speaking at the High Level Segment of the conference, Mr.Chencho Norbu, Secretary of NEC said that Bhutan is in advanced stage of ratifying the Paris Agreement and that the National Assembly is deliberating the Agreement at its on-going winter session.
The Secretary stated that the Conference in Marrakech is on “Action”, and stressed the importance of putting in place the rules for implementation and action that is backed up by a robust system for transparency, support and action. He highlighted the need for clear guidance for moving forward on the Nationally Determined Contributions INDCs for mitigation action, and for the adaptation communications to convey our priorities and needs for addressing impacts of climate change.
The Secretary highlighted Bhutan’s cautious approach to sustainable development, and said that over 70% of the land is under forest cover for the well being of the local, and global community. He informed that Bhutan is carbon negative and re-iterated its committed to a carbon neutral growth.
As a small, landlocked and mountainous country, the Secretary underlined Bhutan’s vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change. He said that the glaciers are receding rapidly, and frequent extreme weather events are hitting hard on our rural communities, food and water sectors in particular.
Mr. Chencho Norbu said that Bhutan has identified adaptation priorities including mitigation measures in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (lNDC) of 2015, and is committed to implement these actions. In doing so, the support from the global community will be critical to succeed.
Looking forward, the Secretary stated that climate change is happening and the most vulnerable and poorest across all countries are being hit the hardest. He urged all Parties to double efforts to maintain the momentum for action at all levels in keeping with the spirit of the Paris Agreement.
The Marrakech conference is the first High-Level meeting of Parties after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and is expected to produce the roadmap and work-plan for completing the details and rules for operationalizing the Paris Agreement by 2018. On the sidelines of the conference, the delegation held meetings multilateral agencies namely the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Adaptation Fund, and Green Technology Centre [GTC) of the Republic of Korea.
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