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Chapter 12 ENVIRONMENT

Bhutan belongs to the eastern Himalayas which forms part of the ten global bio-diversity ‘hotspots’ in the world and one of the 221 global endemic bird areas. Almost three fourths of the land area is covered by forests of alpine, temperate and sub-tropical species, that are a natural habitat for a diversity of flora and fauna. Its various eco-systems harbour some of the most exotic species of the eastern Himalayas. Considering its size, Bhutan probably has the greatest biodiversity among Asian countries. The country has received international acclaim for its commitment to the maintenance of this biodiversity, reflected in its decision to maintain at least 60 percent of the land area under forest cover for all times to come and designate more than one quarter of its territory as national parks, reserves and other protected areas.


204 X FACTS ABOUT BHUTAN

Robert Dompnier

Rhododendron

Robert Dompnier

Rhododendron

Robert Dompnier

The first ‘modern’ legislation enacted in 1969 was replaced by the ‘Forest and Nature Conservation Act, 1995 which is specifically aimed at protecting the country’s forests and wildlife. Since then many laws enacted are directly or indirectly related to the conservation of the environment.

Robert Dompnier

Bhutan’s long commitment to the maintenance of biological diversity and productivity is rooted in its understanding of the importance of forest systems to the survival strategies of remote and isolated communities, its beliefs and customs, and understanding of sustainable development. The country has placed environmental conservation at the core of its development strategy and is treated as a set of concerns that must be mainstreamed in its overall approach to development planning and must be strengthened by law.


205

Cherry Blossom

Robert Dompnier

Rhododendron

Robert Dompnier

Robert Dompnier

ENVIRONMENT X

Rhuem Nobile

Gem Tshering, NCD, MoA

Flora More than 60 percent of the common plant species of the eastern Himalayas can be found within Bhutan. The wealth of floral species include 5,400 vascular plants, 360 species of Orchids, 46 species of Rhododendrons, Junipers, Magnolia, Blue Poppies, Edelweiss, Gentians, Primulas, Artemisia, Daphne, Giant Rhubarb, carnivorous plants, high-altitude plants and over 500 species of medicinal plants. Botanists consider the entire country as one beautiful park.

ENVIRONMENT  

All about environment

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