Over 70 participants including, RMA Bhutan staff, local financial and non-financial institutions, as well as a number of government agencies are taking part in RMA Bhutan - AFI Inclusive Green Finance JLP in Thimphu on 20 - 23 January, 2020. RMA Bhutan Governor Dasho Penjore, seated in the middle, welcomed participants to the three-day event.

First in-country green JLP in Bhutan

The Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan and AFI begin the year on a high note by co-hosting the country’s first-ever Joint Learning Program on Inclusive Green Finance (IGF) in Thimphu.

Uniquely geared towards facilitating RMA Bhutan in developing its own green banking guidelines and coordination with national stakeholders, the three-day training is also AFI’s first-ever in-country training to extensively discuss future implementation activities.

Held from 20 to 22 January 2020, the event brings together over 70 participants, including RMA Bhutan staff, local financial and non-financial institutions, and a number of government agencies. Representatives from six AFI member institutions are attending as experts and sharing their knowledge and experiences.

“There is absolutely nothing that should slip through our fingers that has environmental degradation," RMA Bhutan Governor Dasho Penjore emphasized in his welcoming remarks. He explained that any plan, policy or program will not be passed if it includes anything that is environmentally degrading. He added that all future investment decisions will have to undergo policy protocol.

“Although we may not speak so much of ‘equitable’ or ‘green’ in our normal documentation and policy prescriptions, this is very much a part of Bhutanese system. It is the way we do our planning, development, as well as how the banking system is and its integration with the private sector,” Governor Dasho Penjore told participants.

As the first of its kind, the training is specifically tailored for the staff of RMA Bhutan and its local stakeholders. With a special focus on AFI’s 4P Framework of Inclusive Green Finance: provision, promotion, protection and prevention, participants are learning from in-depth discussions on the main challenges in integrating climate change into various financial sector strategies, as well as how to design and implement effective national strategies or roadmaps.

Following AFI’s peer learning model, the training draws valuable experiences from the network’s wide spectrum of global members and features presentations and sharing of methodologies from the Bank of Thailand, the National Bank of Cambodia, the Nepal Rastra Bank, the Bangladesh Bank and an observer from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Climate change poses a serious challenge to Bhutan as its communities are exposed to a range of climate related hazards including shrinking glaciers and water reservoirs, increased flash floods, forest fires and landslides. The country’s critical economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry and hydro power are also vulnerable to climate change.

Pioneered by AFI member institutions, Inclusive Green Finance (IGF) is an emerging policy framework that embodies effective financial inclusion policies, regulations and national strategies to mitigate or build resilience to the negative impacts of climate change. As financial regulators, AFI member institutions are taking action and creating solutions that address this ongoing crisis.

A principal member of AFI since 28 October 2010, RMA Bhutan’s primary thematic areas of commitments include consumer protection, SME finance, financial literacy and financial education, digital financial services and national strategies on financial inclusion. RMA Bhutan is committed to constructive and collaborative efforts that pave the way to sustainable development for current and future generations. 

AFI’s IGF workstream is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.