The Second Bhutan Biodemocracy and Resilience Conference brought together a range of people from politics, civil society, media, business, academia, education, industry, agriculture in multiple panels to discuss the key developmental challenges in the context of the pandemic. The conference was covered in the Bhutanese media and received an overwhelmingly positive feedback from various sectors of society and on social media.
The aim of the project was to bring together key stakeholders in Bhutan to produce engaged deliberations and reports that can guide policymaking. The two-day conference had panel discussions on the effects of the coronavirus crisis in relation to economic vulnerability and climate change, volunteerism and public health, local governments, agriculture, employment, hydropower and tourism. A keynote address from Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji, Minister of Labour and Human Resources of the Royal Government of Bhutan, began the two days of panel discussions on the pandemic, public policy and development. The talks were livestreamed and watched by thousands of people and were covered nationally. The BBR 2020 conference built upon the first conference titled ‘Bhutan as Biodemocracy: Building Socioeconomic and Environmental Resilience’ which was held in July 2019. The BBR conferences in 2019 and 2020 were facilitated as part of Dr Nitasha Kaul’s Global Challenges Research project titled “Bhutan: Biodemocracy and Resilience (2019-2021).