The Centre for Research on Bhutanese Society (CRBS) was at the Bay of Bengal Maritime Dialogue held on 26 July, 2021. Dr. Chandra S. Dhakal, Research Associate, CRBS stressed that protecting and safeguarding the Bay of Bengal matters to Bhutan. He highlighted that the Bay of Bengal gives Bhutan a maritime outlet and offers avenues for Bhutan to link our economy within the regions and across the world. The Bay nests important commercial seaports vital to stimulate the regions' connectivity, economy, and socio-cultural prosperity. Better regional cooperation amongst the nations is critical for both current and future generations and the region's prosperity. Bhutan, in principle, would support measures directed at achieving these objectives.
He also elaborated that as a global champion of environmental protection and the only carbon-negative country globally, Bhutan will continue to take an active part in protecting our environment, eco-systems, stock of natural resources, and our region's ecological system from depletion. Climate change and the glacier lake outbursts are potential threats to our region and a concern for Bhutan. Hence, he emphasized that collective action on climate change is imperative to protect our Bay areas. To improve the regional cooperation, Dr. Dhakal suggested that the Bay of Bengal region should focus on four main thematic areas: enhance security in maritime transport, advocate humanitarian consideration, invest in environmental protection and strengthen active cooperation amongst the nations under the existing BIMSTIC framework. He assured the Dialogue that CRBS will continue to produce high-quality research on various economic development and social aspects and promote knowledge-based economies to enhance cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region strengthening collaboration with external researchers on these thematic areas.