2022 Summer Programme

  The 2022 winter youth initiative aimed to strengthen youths’ civic participation through empowering them with voice and agency. The objective of the project was to:  
  • Test the implementation of a Digital Citizen Engagement Platform that will source diverse citizen views on policy and legislative issues.
  • Capacitate the youth with a deeper understanding of the issue (focus area) that is critical to generating constructive and meaningful responses.
  It gathered 26 youths with diverse backgrounds from all over the country and generated 24 seed responses including graduates, to learn about climate change and brainstorm ideas of mitigation and adaptation to the global issue creating potential solutions of how Bhutan can address climate change.   
  The Summer Youth Initiative camp commenced today with 30 participants from diverse backgrounds deliberating on the theme “How to balance economic development with environmental conservation?” The first day started off with analysing GNH as a means to achieve sustainable development, then delved into understanding facets of economic development as the speakers encouraged the participants to be critical when assessing this development paradox. Over the course of 5 days, an immersive learning experience will be created; the participants will have the opportunity to interact with various stakeholders, brainstorm on existing challenges, and discuss viable solutions to resolve these challenges.
“In college I did learn about urban development but rarely do we discuss persisting issues that limit implementation of existing solutions to nurture a smart and green city in Bhutan”, shared a participant. During the second and third day of the YI summer camp, with the opportunity to meet several representatives from agencies in the field, the participants drew on these different experiences to better understand the challenges and brainstorm on opportunities in achieving a balanced economy that upholds environmental conservation. The field trip to Chuniding factory sparked discussion on the good practices when venturing in the food producing business and also the need of sustainable practices in such business to ensure a holistic development approach.
With the focus shifting to balancing food security with environment conservation and green financing, participants explored topics on public private partnership when pursuing sustainable development projects and encouraging agro eco-tourism. Then on the last day during the gallery walk the participants presented their findings on the three themes of urbanisation, industrialisation and food production in relation to achieving a balanced economy. Tshering Dendup, a student of JSW Law School expressed that it is refreshing to meet like-minded people who are interested in understanding more about the paradox of environmental conservation and economic development and that attending this camp made him reflect on the possibility of researching more on green finance once he joins college again.    The consolidated responses divided under different themes generated from the youth camp which were uploaded to the Citizen Engagement Platform for nationwide polling
Law makers and  decision-making For sustainable development different sectors need to work in tandem to make evidence-based decisions free of political influences.
Plan settlements based on the availability of the resources to support growth.
Enforce a Spatial Planning Act to manage urban design and development. 
Update and harmonise Acts and Laws across sectors to strengthen enforcement of environmental regulations.
Provide tax holidays to green businesses. 
Monitoring of land rehabilitation strategies to ensure land maintenance after mining activities of an area
Revising and updating laws in order to keep it relevant to the current social context.  Eg: Food act, Mines and Minerals act 1995
Poor monitoring and evaluation of waste disposal and management, therefore periodic monitoring and evaluation is required
Policies and Regulations Consider green procurement policy that incentivises  green business, and locally produced products over imported goods.
Standards to measure construction methods & monitor the entire process to encourage adaptation for renewable sources of materials & energy
Organisations to adopt green policy to minimise environmental impacts. 
Monitor import of cheap fashion and disposal of fabric wastes.
Set emission limits and regular strict monitoring and evaluation to be conducted. 
Research  & Development Invest in Research & Development to reduce environmental degradation from transport of imports that have local substitutes
Conduct cost-benefit analysis of programmes and activities free of influence from interest groups. 
Invest in nutritional testing and certification of local produce to boost the economy.
Invest in ongoing assessment of environmental and social impacts of economic activities. 
Make information about the environment accessible on public domains through a data centre.
Disseminate research findings on the environment through creative means so that it is used to make decisions. 
Education & Awareness The private sector and the business communities need to be educated on environmentally conscious business practices and values.
Create awareness about fiscal incentives to promote green businesses.
Educate lawyers on environmental justice for fair enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.
Educate the public on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle.
Promoting eco-friendly fashion.
Educate the public on food waste and environmental impacts of food production. 
Promote eco-friendly business values such as locally sourcing raw materials and production of multiple produce from one raw material. 
Relevant agencies to educate the public and the private sector on eco-friendly house design and construction materials.
Digitisation Reduce environmental impacts by investing in ICT infrastructure for efficient consultation and coordination with local governments
Build the capacity of local governments to leverage the benefits of ICT and minimise impacts on environment from transports. 
Use technology to link producers, suppliers and consumers.
Adopt creative means and formats for public education on sustainable design.
Infrastructure Diversify the tourism industry with more eco-friendly programmes and activities to promote economic development.
Proper spatial planning and designated areas for landfills and drop-off points can help in waste management
To curb the rural urban disparities, equal developmental activities and distribution of resources need to be taken into action. 
Organisations can collaborate and start upcycling units to reduce waste and environmental impacts.