This project on the ‘Sustainable natural resource management for climate change adaptation in the Himalayan region’ is a collaborative project among Norway, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bhutan. It is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) under the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED). The project activities include providing scholarship for Master students, research, staff exchange, and procurement of educational support equipment and books. 
 
TICA Project in CNR, RUB
 
The earlier Natural Resources Training Institute (NRTI), which offered Diploma courses for the erstwhile Ministry of Agriculture since 1992, formally joined the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) in 2004 and changed name from NRTI to College of Natural Resources (CNR) in 2006. While the CNR continues to offer the Diploma courses which cater to the needs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, it also has started the nested BSc programmes in Agriculture, Animal Science and Forestry for in-service candidates starting from 2010. Subsequently, RUB became autonomous in 2011. CNR started offering Master’s in Development Practice from July 2014. The need to initiate collaborative research and strengthen staff capacity at CNR was felt necessary, and one way of getting this done is through collaboration with Khon Kaen University (KKU) in Thailand. Centre for Rural Development Studies (CRDS) which was established at CNR is playing pivotal role in the collaboration as the researches at the College is being routed through CRDS. In addition, the CRDS is expected to play the lead role in building critical rural development analysis and understanding through multidisciplinary researches geared towards reducing poverty and enhance rural development. CNR has successfully completed three years of collaboration with KKU through Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA) funding. Some of the highlights of achievement through this collaboration are listed hereunder.
 
  1. TICA support to CNR (Phase I, 2008 - 2010)
 
TICA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has supported CNR in a number of areas in between 2008 and 2010, despite the fact that the Human Resources Development capacity is still being implemented. It provided worth US $ 1 million assistance in capacity building of CNR in the following areas:
 
  • Library development
 
TICA has played a crucial role in adding learning materials– books and journals in the CNR library. Through TICA project, about 261 books, mostly foreign edition were purchased. This support has helped CNR build library capacity specially in obtaining resources for use by BSc in-service students. In addition, several book shelves have been procured as well to shelf the books in library.  
 
  • Staff development
 
Through TICA project, several staff from CNR had the opportunity to get short trainings and higher education. This gesture from TICA was critical for the HR development of the CNR, especially at a time when the Royal University of Bhutan was going through a phase of transition: from that of being a Government institution to that of being an autonomous organization. TICA sponsored six PhD (five completed and one ongoing), two MSc scholarships and 15 short term trainings to teaching and support staff of CNR at various levels.
 
  • Laboratory development
 
Through the assistance of the TICA project, several laboratory equipments that were essential to run the BSc programmes were purchased. Now laboratory has become more or less functional compared to past years. To cite an example, animal feed analysis can be done to certain extent in the laboratory except for neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF); seed germination trial can be done by agriculture students.
 
  • Development of ICT facilities
ICT facilities have been improved through this project as well. Forty two computers have been procured and added to computer laboratory enhancing the facility on ICT usage by the students; in addition four LCD projectors have been procured to improve classroom teaching. Also four notebooks were procured and distributed to each department for use by the staff when on block weeks. Two servers were procured to enhance the internet provision to students and staff and also to host teaching materials, and twenty desktop UPS were procured to backup computers in the computer laboratory.
 
  • Hiace bus
Training imparted at CNR is unique, where students are taken out into the fields either in the form of block day or block week. Such arrangements require transport facility and the buses that CNR possess are old and often go off road, to mitigate and address the shortage of transport facility TICA project has also donated a Hiace bus that has helped reduce transportation problems and enhanced movements of staff and students specially when 10 – 12 fellows have to be transported. 
 
TICA Project Phase II
 
The Phase II TICA project started from June 2017, and three candidates are undergoing PhD program at KKU another one to join by June 2018, three teaching faculty are undergoing MSc six Faculty completed short term training recently and training for the support staff is in plan. In addition other support for the development of college is pipeline in the second phase.
 
Contact us:
Dr. Penjor
Project Coordinator
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Royal University of Bhutan: Lobesa
PABX 975-2-376249 Fax No. 00975-2-376254; For information contact International Liaison Officer at Email: loppssn@gmail.com