Due to Bhutan’s location and unique geographical and climatic variations, it is one of the world’s last remaining biodiversity hotspots.
Bhutan’s pristine environment, with high rugged mountains and deep valleys, offers ecosystems that are both rich and diverse. Recognizing the importance of the environment, conservation of its rich biodiversity is one of the government’s development paradigms.
The government has enacted a law that shall maintain at least 60% of its forest cover for all times. Today, 80.89% of the total land area of Bhutan is under forest cover and 51.40% (16,396.4 sq.km) of the land area falls under protected areas comprising of 10 national parks and sanctuaries (State of the Environment report 2016, National Environment Commission).
Bhutan’s revolutionary climate change and environment protection policies have become examples for the rest of the world to look at. The country’s 11th Five Year Plan (2013- 2018) was developed on the concept of ‘green’ plan creating a ‘green’ mindset and attitude in order to prioritize environment management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and pollution. Bhutan is one of the few countries in the world that enshrines environmental conservation in its Constitution. Bhutan declared to remain carbon neutral at the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark (State of the Environment report 2016, National Environment Commission). Today, the country is not only a carbon neutral, but a carbon negative country, meaning that it absorbs more carbon than it emits.