H.E. Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, Minister of Finance led a five-member Bhutanese delegation to the Seventh Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF7) held in Vancouver, Canada from 22-26 August 2023. A representative of the Youth Development Fund also attended the Assembly.
The GEF Assembly, held every four years, is the highest governing body of GEF, bringing together ministers and government officials from 185 countries, business leaders, environmentalists, leaders of international agencies and environmental conventions along with representatives of youth groups, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples to discuss solutions to ensure a healthy planet with healthy people.
The Assembly featured high-level plenary sessions, roundtables, workshops, side events, and networking opportunities for participants of all ages and backgrounds.
Speaking as a panellist in the Roundtable: “Can policy coherence across sectors narrow the nature and climate funding gap”, Lyonpo shared Bhutan’s experiences on bringing policy coherence at national level under the development philosophy of Gross National Happiness and the constitutional provisions of environmental conservation and maintenance of the forest cover.
Participating in another panel discussion on Promoting an integrated approach towards food systems transformation, Lyonpo spoke about the eight transformative pathways to achieve a high
performance food system by 2030 and Bhutan’s Food and Nutrition Security Policy (2023) identifying priority crops and livestock produce to maximize farm incomes.
During the course of the Assembly, Lyonpo engaged actively with the CEO of the GEF Mr. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, the Ministers of the host Government (Canada) and other heads of delegation
from the GEF countries. Lyonpo and the Bhutanese delegation also met and interacted with the members of the Bhutanese community in British Columbia on 21 August 2023.
Among the notable outcomes, the Assembly approved the establishment of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, to which pledges of initial financial contributions were made by Canada and the United Kingdom.