Aiming at preparing youth from its member countries to take actions to promote green actions, ICIMOD partnered with the Happy Green Cooperative, a youth organization based in Thimpu and the Asia Pacific Youth Task Force on Rio +20 to organize three-days long National Youth Forum on Green Solutions in Bhutan, 14-16 December 2012. Held at the Department of Youth and Sports, Thimpu, the forum was attended by over 40 youth from different parts of the country.
The opening sessions of the forum was inaugurated by honorable Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan. Dr. Gyamtsho acknowledged the efforts put in by ICIMOD to engage youth in the area of green solutions and also encouraged the youth participants to have open mind in discussing pertinent issues to make the best use of the event. The forum successfully brought together government officials, local green entrepreneurs and youth communities to discuss on potential areas of development of green solutions in Bhutan. Guests who attended the forum included Ms Kesang Tshomo, National Director, National Organic Program, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest; Mr Sonam Dargay, Sr. Planning officer, National Environment Commission; Mr Karma Yoenten, CEO and Founder, Greener Way Waste Management Organization; Mr Vishmal Rai, CEO and Innovator, Green Computing and Green Solutions; Mr Sangay Rinchen, CEO and Founder, Happy Green Cooperative; Ms Anja Moller Rasmussen, Programme Manager, Integrated Knowledge Management, ICIMOD among others. In addition to the technical sessions by experts, the forum also included lively interaction session with young entrepreneurs of Bhutan which provided the participants a platform to share and gain ideas. The participants also had a chance to visit a Druk Organic Farm run by Druk Organic Growers Cooperatives located in Toeb Menchhungna, Toeb Geog, Punakha District. Farm manager Mr Rinchen Dorji and Mr Hitoshi Yokota, Integrated Agriculturist and Organic Foods Consultant from Japan introduced the activities of the farm to the participants. Also, a knowledge café session run by ICIMOD team provided a technical means for the participants to brainstorm on the ideas and come up with the National Youth Declaration on Green Solutions in Bhutan.