NDC Facts


Remain carbon neutral where emission of greenhouse gases will not exceed carbon sequestration by forests. Maintain minimum 60% forest cover.


Agriculture, Energy, Forest, Transport, and Waste.


Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Energy, Environment, Health, Forestry, Transport, Urban, Water




19 September 2017


Project information


USD 802,500


Q1 2019


Q2 2021


Integrated Governance; Evidence-based Planning, Design and Implementation; Climate-friendly Investment, Public-Private Partnerships






National Environment Commission; National Commission for Women and Children



Development facts


Context and Objectives

Bhutan has one of the most pristine environments in the world with clean air, water and primeval forest. Approximately 70% of the country is forested of which, much are primary forests. About 60% of the country’s population depends on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. In efforts to achieve its targets, Bhutan will maintain a minimum of 60% of total land under forest cover for all time in accordance to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The Royal Government of Bhutan committed in 2009 to remaining carbon-neutral by ensuring that its forests sequester more carbon than is emitted through other actions.

Bhutan’s commitment was reiterated in 2015 in its INDC (now an NDC after being ratified by the Parliament in 2017) and is also reflected in the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans. The NDC Support Programme (NDCSP) in Bhutan was built on key achievements of the Low Emission Capacity Building (LECB) Programme which has been mainstreamed into the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP 2018-2023), as a National Key Result Area (NKRA 6) as “Carbon Neutral, Climate & Disaster Resilient Development Enhanced” with relevant important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

To deliver on NDC climate action goals, the NDC Support Programme will assist Bhutan in evidence-based planning, design and implementation, integrated climate governance, develop capacities to design climate-friendly investment opportunities, as well as support public-private partnerships.  

Work areas

Integrated Governance

  • Formalize and strengthen institutional frameworks, including gender-responsive approaches.

Mitigation Actions

  • Conduct analysis of gender issues in relevant policies and strategies for priority NDC sectors;
  • Develop gender action plans;
  • Implement key recommendations/analyses identified in sectoral NDC roadmaps to address technical barriers to inclusive NDC implementation.

Climate Finance

  • Design gender-responsive financial mechanisms to scale up NDC actions in support of economic diversification.

Private Sector Engagement

  • Systematic engagement of private sector on inclusive NDC investment opportunities.


Building blocks

Bhutan has created sound national policy and legislative frameworks to support NDC Implementation. These policy and legislative frameworks are:

  • Bhutan Transport 2040: Integrated Strategic Vision, National Forest Policy;
  • Economic Development Policy (2010 and updated in 2016);
  • National Strategy and Action Plan for Low Carbon Development (2012);
  • The National Environment Protection Act (2007).

Important groundwork through the UNDP Low Emission Capacity Building (LECB) Programme includes:

  • National forest inventory and GHG inventory data improved and systematically archived;
  • Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) for solid waste and transport developed and submitted for financing;
  • INDC prepared through highly consultative process and Parliamentarians sensitized on the Paris Agreement and the INDC prior to its ratification in 2017;
  • Low-Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) prepared for industry, human settlements, energy efficiency, and transport to “unpack” Bhutan’s NDC priorities and help to address the impacts of rapid urbanization. The LEDS were all designed in close consultation with the private sector and other key stakeholders;
  • Intelligent transport system designed for Thimphu, and various measures piloted such as: e-tickets and smart cards for buses and a passenger-friendly bus stop;
  • Update of the National Transport Policy (draft 2017);
  • Capacity building on GHG Inventory, NAMA and LEDSs, climate change mitigation, sustainable transport systems, for the project’s Technical Working Groups of 35 experts and parliamentarians.

Partner Initiatives

The NDC Programme links closely with complementary projects to strengthen outputs and ensure comprehensive responses to government needs with JICA, WWF and other development partners. Partners also include the Loden Foundation (CSO), Academia, BCCI and the private sector.

At the global level, UNDP is engaged a range of strategic partnerships through the NDC Support Programme, including the IKI NDC Support Cluster, the NDC Partnership, the LEDS Global Partnership, and the Partnership on Transparency in the Paris Agreement.


Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

The latest


To deliver on NDC climate action goals, the NDC Support Programme will assist Bhutan in evidence-based planning, design and implementation, integrated climate governance, develop capacities to design climate-friendly investment opportunities, as well as support public-private partnerships.

Posted on December 10, 2019


The INDC Project was implemented in close coordination with the Bhutan’s LECB project, to provide technical support and bring various stakeholders together to address the country’s NDC needs and to support climate action.

Posted on July 31, 2019


Bhutan sought to extend and elaborate its options and processes to address and promote low emission development effectively, through assessments, sectoral policies, and strategy documents in the areas of transport, human settlements, solid waste management, and industries.

Posted on July 30, 2019


The National Environment Commission (NEC) and UNDP hosted a series of one-day “write shops” in May. Key stakeholders were invited to provide final technical comments on a suite of climate strategies that will now be signed off by senior Ministry officials. Stakeholders included government officials from planning, transport, industry and environment, as well as private sector representatives.

Posted on July 11, 2017