Bhutan’s Commitment To Maintain Its Carbon Negative Status And Rich Biodiversity


The land where Bhutan is located has an exceptional concentration of endemic species.

(Source: Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan)


By Sangay Wangchuk Kuensel

While Bhutan may not be featured in the list of Top 10 Bio-diverse countries in the world, it is probably the only country where its Constitution mandates that at-least sixty percent of its land must be under forest cover for all times to come.

It is also probably the only country to have ‘raised its hands’ in 2009 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 15th Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP 15) and delivered a declaration titled, ‘Declaration of the Kingdom of Bhutan – The Land of Gross National Happiness to Save Our Planet’, wherein it has committed to absorb more carbon than the amount emitted.

Bhutan became the first and only carbon negative country

A decade after the declaration, Bhutan can proudly claim that its pristine forests are absorbing more carbon than its emission and it is also probably the first and only carbon negative country in the world.


Source: Youtube/TED 


Similarly in 2013, Ida Kubiszewski, a professor at the Australian National University and a team of scholars estimated that the value of the ecosystem services provided by Bhutan’s forests is about USD 15.5 billion per year.

They also estimated that more than 50% of the total benefits from this Himalayan Kingdom’s ecosystem services accrue to the people outside of Bhutan.

This should be enough reason for all Bhutanese to be proud of, as they are contributing to the much needed ecosystem services by virtue of their preservation of natural resources, which were meticulously crafted by their beloved monarchs.

Thus, Bhutan has always been a donor country of the most essential ‘intangible’ goods: ecosystem services. 

Bhutan’s rich biodiversity lauded

The currently recognised Himalayan hotspot where Bhutan lies, overlaps the ‘boundary’ with three other hotspots such as: the Mountains of south-west China; Indo-Burma; and the Mountains of central Asia.

Bhutan’s location in the Himalayan hotspot, which shares boundaries with these three biodiversity hotspots of the world signifies that it is indeed in a unique place on Earth.


The Illustrated Wildlife Map of Bhutan.

Photo: WWF Bhutan


It also means that the land where Bhutan is located has an exceptional concentration of endemic species.

In Bhutan, the importance of co-existence is taught through Thuen-Pa-Puen-Zhi, where the six signs of longevity, Tshering Namdruk, features biodiversity with fresh-water.

Moreover, this enchanting Kingdom is a place imbued with stories of the existence of mythical Mi-goe (Yeti); Me-chum; Chudrey; and many other fabled creatures. 

Bhutan can also pride itself for their ‘Protected areas’ which are well connected with biological corridors. It is also probably the only place on Earth where tigers and snow leopards share the same habitat. 

Their ancestors certainly knew the importance of biodiversity; long before the term was even coined.


This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.


Related Posts

National Biodiversity Monitoring Protocol Drafted To Ensure That...

The development of the protocol is Bhutan's first attempt to put in place a proper biodiversity monitoring system at the...

Jun 15, 2019 15:18

Haven For Flora And Fauna, Bhutan Is Host To More Than 11,000...

The biodiversity statistics of Bhutan 2017 is the first publication presenting accurate and up to date status of the...

May 25, 2019 15:58

Active Steps Recommended At Conference For Bhutan To Maintain Its...

The study suggests the enhancement of carbon absorption by forest management as a key to maintaining a carbon neutral...

May 20, 2019 23:58

Pristine Bhutan Strives To Maintain A Carbon Neutral Development...

Bhutan is also a biodiversity hotspot with over 6000 species of flora and approximately 1900 species of fauna.

Jan 25, 2019 17:38

‘Bhutan For Life’ Aims To Safeguard Its Protected Areas And...

The ‘Protected Areas’ in Bhutan comprises of four national parks, four wildlife sanctuaries and one nature reserve.

Dec 14, 2018 11:07

A Haven For Wildlife – New Species Of Moth, Bird And Fish Found...

These discoveries took the country’s moth count to 1,146, bird population to 739, and fish species to 23.

Feb 26, 2019 18:32



Co-Funded By The EU, [email protected] Project Launched To Provide High Speed Internet For Bhutan’s Research And Education Communities

A high-speed network called DrukREN for research and education communities in Bhutan was also launched.

Aug 21, 2019 09:58

Find Innovative Solutions For Every Challenge: Prime Minister Modi To Bhutan’s Youth

Prime Minister Modi said that he ‘sees dynamism and felt energised’ while meeting with the future of Bhutan.

Aug 18, 2019 23:58


Bhutan Women Parliamentary Caucus Launched To Promote Gender Equality

It is expected to address the need for women role models at leadership and decision-making levels in Bhutan.

Aug 20, 2019 17:08

Fulfilling His Majesty The King’s Vision, Digital Drukyul Is Set To Improve Public Service Delivery And Empower Citizens Digitally

Digital Drukyul will help create a digital ecosystem for citizens which is unencumbered by bureaucratic red tape.

Aug 19, 2019 15:28


Two Young Bhutanese Swimmers Competed In 18th FINA World Championship

The duo are proud to represent Bhutan and compete on a worldwide stage for the first time.

Jul 28, 2019 21:32

Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 08, 2019 22:18


Southeast Asian Company Invests Over US$100,000 In Bhutanese Start-up Drukfood

The investment includes a mix of cash and investment-in-kind.

Aug 15, 2019 14:26

Bhutan’s First Crowdfunding Platform Gaining Traction, Opens Doors For Entrepreneurs To Raise Funds

So far, three promoters - Bhutan Alternatives, Freelancer Bhutan and Himalayan food have registered with the Bhutan crowdfunding platform.

Aug 05, 2019 22:10


7 Facts You Never Knew About Flying Into Bhutan

Druk Asia interviewed Namgyal Wangchuk, Senior First Officer with Drukair to find out what it's like to fly into Paro International Airport.

Aug 07, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Has Great Potential To Be A Top Eco-Tourism Spot: Albert Teo

Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

Jul 19, 2019 23:58


Bali-Bhutan Art Exhibition Hosted By VAST Bhutan To Enhance Friendship And Exchange Of Ideas

Founded in 1998, VAST Bhutan has been promoting and facilitating art exchange programmes with various nationalities.

Aug 22, 2019 14:28

Finding One’s Voice: Rapping In The Kingdom Of Bhutan

The lack of support for rappers stems from the general misconception that most people have about rap.

Aug 10, 2019 23:38

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!