GPP Bhutan conducts seminar to disseminate its Year 1 Research Findings

On September 3, 2015 at the Ariya Hotel in Thimpu, delegates from the public and private sector came together to learn about and discuss the findings of a EU-funded, SWITCH Asia project on Green Public Procurement in Bhutan. The 3.5 year long project is about half way along its journey, and the seminar provided an occasion for the project leaders to share their findings with the wider stakeholder groups in Bhutan and to seek inputs and advice for structuring the remainder of their activities.

Close to 75 participants representing the National Parliament, public and private sector, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), academia, print and broadcast media, and freelancers attended the seminar.

The Director General of the Department of Public Accounts, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Choiten Wangchuk graced the seminar with the Opening Speech. He spoke of Bhutan’s Inclusive, Social, and Green Development Path, and the fact that “all of these involve procurement of goods, services and works one way or the other.” On this note, Mr. Wangchuk concluded “I think the [GPP Bhutan] seminar is not only timely but also very important.”

Ms. Oshani Perera, Director, Public Procurement and Infrastructure Finance, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Ms. Sarojini Kaul, Project Manager, EU Switch-Asia Programme India and Bhutan also introduced the day.

The seminar was open, and ‘highly interactive’ according to participants. The Year 1 Findings from the project show that the legal and policy space for practicing GPP is already in place in Bhutan, and participants had many comments and questions to deliberate on in light of the findings presented.

Participants also learned about two other SWITCH-Asia projects in Bhutan: the Low Carbon Tourism Project in Bhutan and the Sustainable & Efficient Industrial Development (SEID) project in Bhutan and Nepal, undertaken by the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO) and SEID Bhutan respectively.

The GPP Bhutan team are very pleased with the outcomes of the day. The additional comments and inputs gathered through this forum will enhance the value and quality of the findings and ‘set the stage’ for uptake of subsequent implementation-focused activities.

The Major Findings & Implications for GPP document discussed at the seminar is open for public consultation till 9th October 2014. More information.

Read more about the event on the national newspaper, Kuensel, here.