Workshop report. Strengthening landscape governance capacities in Bhutan: UWICE-Bumthang, Bhutan, 13–19 March, 2017

Workshop report. Strengthening landscape governance capacities in Bhutan: UWICE-Bumthang, Bhutan, 13–19 March, 2017

The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) represent one of the world’s most diverse ecoregions, with ecosystems ranging from tropical humid forests to arid, alpine grasslands. Each of these ecosystems has its own rich biodiversity and provides services crucial to the lives and livelihoods of more than 200 million people living in the region and almost 1.3 billon people living in river basins downstream. Following the ecosystem approach set out by the Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has been working with its regional member countries to identify and develop transboundary landscape initiatives in the HKH with the goal of improving those ecosystem functions and services that are crucial for human wellbeing.

ICIMOD and Wageningen University have collaborated to develop landscape approaches and landscape governance capacities in the Hindu Kush Himalaya. These efforts are intended to enable ICIMOD partners to acquire the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to facilitate landscape governance mechanisms in such a way that they contribute to the sustainable management of ecosystem goods and services to improve the livelihoods of the landscapes’ inhabitants, while enhancing ecological integrity, economic development, and socio-cultural resilience in an integrated manner.

Following the above, ICIMOD and the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) conducted the first workshop on “Landscape Governance Planning and Preparation’’ in July 2016, especially for ICIMOD staff and implementing partners, with the aim of understanding the concept of landscape governance, and identifying core capacities that professionals need to facilitate landscape governance on the ground. We did this by using the ‘5C’ capacity development framework developed by CDI, which in turn is based on the ‘capability approach’ of Amartya Sen (1999), the ‘Five Capabilities Framework’ of Baser and Morgan (2008), the core components of the sustainable livelihood approach (Bebbington, 1999), and the ‘Ten Principles of an Adaptive Landscape Approach’ (Sayer et al, 2013).

A follow-up workshop on “Regional Training of Trainers (TOT) on Transboundary Landscape Governance” was held in Chitwan, Nepal, from 25 September to 5 October 2016. The workshop was organized to modify and validate the framework developed so far, as well as to train practitioners from different countries and organizations in the major concepts of landscape governance. During the workshop, a draft curriculum was designed, including five modules (see Annex). In this workshop, Bhutan was represented by senior officials from the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE), the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), the Wildlife Conservation Division (WCD) and the Department of Livestock (DoL). The Bhutanese team contributed actively, and suggested that follow up training be done in Bhutan.

The report was co-funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nepal.