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Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs
The LDN Fund invests in projects which reduce or reverse land degradation and thereby contribute to ‘Land Degradation Neutrality’. The LDN Fund is co-promoted by the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Mirova. It is a public-private partnership using public money to increase private sector investment in sustainable development. The fund invests in sustainable agriculture, forestry and other land uses globally. The Fund was launched at the UNCCD’s COP 13 in China in 2017.
UK - Department of Health (DH)
The Fleming Fund helps low- and middle-income countries to fight antimicrobial resistance. A management agent has been appointed to deliver: country grants 24 low- and middle-income countries, regional grants in West Africa, East and Southern Africa, South Asia and South East Asia, and a global fellowships programme. These initiatives aim to improve laboratory capacity and diagnosis as well as data and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
In this project, we focus on creating a biodemocratic understanding of Bhutan to locate and strengthen the kinds of narratives that can help the developmental process to be more dynamic, responsive, transparent, accountable, and consultative. We do this through initiating reflection by planners, widening engagement by policymakers, and by fostering creative initiatives by a diverse range of social stakeholders. Bhutan, a low-income Himalayan country on the cusp of major change, can be conceptualised as a 'biodemocracy' in order to bring together political and ecological concerns. Sustainable development understood in terms of biodemocracy requires us to rethink Responsible Consumption and Production (Sustainable Development Goal 12) through an explicit recognition of the interdependence of all life forms. This is crucial for a country like Bhutan that has mindfully pioneered Gross National Happiness (GNH) as its development philosophy; the country is carbon-negative, and constitutionally mandates that 60 percent of its territory remain under forest cover in perpetuity. However, this small, high-altitude, ecologically-diverse, hydropower-rich, low-income country surrounded by populous and power/resource-hungry neighbours India and China is attempting to come to terms with modernisation and urbanisation. In the process, it is faced with rising consumption aspirations and livelihood and employment generation challenges of the twenty-first century. The accelerated pace of change in Bhutan over the last two decades has been remarkable, from the introduction of television and the internet in 1999 to the transition to parliamentary democracy in 2008 initiated voluntarily by its monarch but widely viewed with apprehension by the people. Having consolidated a democratic system of government, there is ever expanding awareness about questions of accountability when it comes to making difficult developmental choices, especially when reconciling the values, policies, and planning needed for enacting GNH. Economic statistics tell us little about development as experienced by different social groups in a society. An alternative way of making sense of development is to understand the overall narrative of development (in the case of Bhutan, GNH) within which planning occurs and specific policy choices are made, and the individual narratives that different people and groups in society draw on in seeing themselves as part of the developmental process. Development narratives constitute the strong links between how we realise our potentialities for organising economies, spaces and societies. Our interdisciplinary, boundary-crossing project, thus, focuses on co-creating knowledge networks in Bhutan through four strands - annual planners' reflection workshop, an annual public engagement conference, a creative conversation idealab, and a festival of value/s. Each of these will specifically target a diverse range of people in different but overlapping communities, including Bhutanese planners, policymakers, parliamentarians, media, academics, civil society organisations, international organisations like the UN in Bhutan, entrepreneurs, artists, students, and youth leaders. Creating such networks is vital to understanding and addressing the role of individual and collective narratives in how ecological, economic, and political consciousness and consent can foster responsible production and consumption. We will expand the network in the UK through a knowledge exchange visit to build scholarly and policy community connexions, and by developing the entrepreneurial and know-how linkages emergent from the creative conversations. The overall concluding conference in the UK will amplify our project learning and establish a firm legacy for continued future work.