Reducing Climate Change-induced Risks from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in Bhutan

This project, Reducing Climate Change-induced Risks and Vulnerabilities from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys, was identified by the National Adaptation Programme of Action of Bhutan as a national priority to address the adverse impacts of climate change. Its goal is to enhance adaptive capacity to climate change-induced disaster impacts in Bhutan. As a contribution to the achievement of this goal, the project objective is to 'reduce climate change-induced risks and vulnerabilities from glacial lake outbursts in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys.' The project is anticipated to contribute to risk reduction, improved safety and increased awareness in the involved districts through:

  • Systematization and long-term planning of Bhutan’s legal framework and awareness on disaster risk management
  • Artificial lowering of the potentially dangerous Thorthormi glacier lake
  • Automation and expansion of early warning mechanisms in the Punakha-Wangdue valley

For updates on UNDP Early Warning Systems and Climate Resilient Development projects, click here.

Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Country Office
Local Governments
National Governments
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Thematic Area: 
Disaster Risk Reduction
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Bhutan Department of Disaster Management, Dept of Geology & Mines, Dept of Hydromet Services
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
WWF Bhutan
Austrian Development Agency
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Local communities in the affected river valleys.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
Total amount: US$7,481,274 (as of May 2012); GEF (LDCF): US$3,445,050; UNDP: US$ 396,224
Co-Financing Total: 
Royal Government of Bhutan (in-kind): US$ 2,680,000; Austrian Development Agency EUR$600,000; WWF Bhutan US$30,000; Punatsangchhu Hydropower Authority $Nu. 20 million (as of May 2012)
Project Status: 
Under Implementation