The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Bhutan have signed a deal for a project to promote ecotourism and biodiversity in the country, The Global Environment Facility will fund the project worth $4.854 million
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Bhutan have signed a deal for a project to promote ecotourism and biodiversity in the country, The Global Environment Facility will fund the project worth $4.854 million.
The Tourism Council of Bhutan will implement the project, covering two protected areas (PAs) of Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) and Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) in eastern Bhutan, and five districts.
The project aims to mainstream biodiversity conservation into tourism development as part of the long-term strategy to mitigate threats to biodiversity. It will also generate sustainable conservation financing and livelihoods for people within and outside protected areas, facilitating human-wildlife coexistence, and mitigating negative impacts of growing tourism on Bhutan’s socio-cultural heritage.
According to the joint statement, “The project aims to establish Bhutan as a model ecotourism destination. The project’s design considers opportunities for contributing to green recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, including boosting of domestic tourism, employment opportunities, and increasing community resilience and connection to nature.”
The UNDP will also help to address barriers to establishing ecotourism through enabling national policy environment and institutional coordination, sustainable financing, innovation, and diversification of ecotourism products.