A half day Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Gender Review of National Energy Policies and Programmes in Bhutan was organized by RSPN on 1st October, 2013 in RSPN’s Auditorium, Thimphu. It is a part of ADB funded project on “Improving Gender-Inclusive Access to Clean and Renewable Energy in Bhutan”.
The project team presented the detailed project profile, understanding gender status of existing energy sector policies, strategies and practices in Bhutan with the objective in identifying good practices and lessons learned in successfully mainstreaming gender into the energy sector.
The team also presented Baseline Survey Report of the Project Area (Lower Zhemgang) which was conducted to understand the impacts of improving rural women’s access to electricity and improving service delivery in the four lower Gewogs of Zhemgang.
Based on the above presentation, thorough discussions was held, and the stakeholders made recommendations and suggestion for the project. The stakeholders also ensured to share information and render support while implementing the activities. The below mentioned are the resolutions of the workshop:
- The participants recommended that the gender review should have specific recommendations at different levels: policy level and project implementation level and focus on viable energy points as part of recommendations and inclusion of international perspective and examples.
- Requires refinement of statements or recommendations made in the review report.
- The consultant to consider the difference between gender and women empowerment in the report.
- The Gender Action Plan for Lower Zhemgang to be developed in close consultation with the international team/partners and solicit their inputs and share with DRE for comments.
- DRE and BPCL recommended RSPN to review the qualification criteria for the VEEET recruitment and provide specific recommendation to BPCL to recruit as much women participants as possible.
- RSPN to provide specific recommendations to BPCL to recruit female participants for VEEET and encourage the women for the training from Lower Kheng.
- RSPN to ensure involving as much women as possible in the project activities.
- The Consultant assured that the final draft of the project baseline survey report will be submitted to RSPN within this week for comments.
- DRE expressed willingness to render any kind of support to RSPN while implementing the project activities.
- NGOs, CSOs and other agencies present in RSPN’s project area assured to share information and render support.
- The Consultant to present Gewog-wise data for the baseline report to enable proper planning and intervention.
- DRE and RSPN recommended that both the reports should be thoroughly reviewed and backed by reliable case/data since it is being submitted to the government.
- RSPN to share the Draft Minutes with the stakeholders by 8th October 2013 for comments and finalization.
The Royal Society for Protection of Nature in collaboration with ETC Foundation, Netherlands have been implementing a ADB funded project in Zhemgang since 2012 in four Gewogs of Lower Zhemgang. The project on “Improving Gender-Inclusive Access to Clean and Renewable Energy in Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka” aims to increase rural women’s access to affordable and reliable clean energy sources and technologies in selected project sites in Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The project will end by February, 2015.
About 13 key stakeholder members from the Department of Renewable Energy, Bhutan Power Corporation, UNDP, Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Craft, Bhutan Association of Women Enterprise, Loden Foundation, Zhemgang Dzongkhag, Rural Development Training Center (Zhemgang), Royal Manas National Park and 11 staff members of RSPN attended the workshop.
The workshop was aimed at presenting the findings of the Gender Review and seeking inputs and suggestions, and along with the findings of a recently concluded baseline survey conducted for the project area (Lower Zhemgang) for further comments and suggestions.
Reported by: Tsheten Dorji, Field Coordinator, Zhemgang