being a small landlocked country, more than 70% of land is under forest
coverage. Pristine natural heritage is the wealth of the country which the
Royal Government of Bhutan pledges to maintain minimum of 60% for all time.
Conservation of natural environment is one of the ways to achieve Gross
National Happiness, emphasizing more than Gross Domestic Product. Development
policies are made in Bhutan in accordance with the philosophy of Gross National
Happiness ensuring ecological balanced sustainable development and green
of the ancient names of Bhutan, ‘Menjong Yul’ rightly interprets the
country as land of the medicinal herbs with rich in biodiversity. Bhutan has
been treasuring the natural environment for centuries. Even in the 21st
century, the inhabitants and natural heritage live intact in harmony, passing
it on to future generations. High rugged mountains in the north extending all
the way down to the southern foothill, rich in biodiversity makes Bhutan one of
the top ten ‘Hotspots’ in the world.
Government of Bhutan hosted the Second Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger
Conservation in association with the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative in
October 2012, which the 13 tiger range countries attended. As many tigers
losing their homes due to human effort in deforesting, Bhutan promised to
preserve the natural environment for them. Tiger is affiliated even with
Bhutanese legend and religion; four animals (Tak- Tiger, Seng – Lion, Chung –
Garuda and Druk – Dragon). These are regarded as protectors of Buddhism.
is also known as ecological paradise with wide range of flora and fauna; Takin,
Tiger, rhododendron, orchids and blue poppy. These flowers and animals are
found in the national parks and sanctuaries. Many of the trekking routes are in
the national parks where one would get to see the flowers and if lucky enough
even animals. About 26.23% of total forest area has been protected as national
parks and wild life sanctuaries. The trekkers may not notice walking through
one of the protected areas and biological corridors.
All the protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries are mainly managed by Ministry of Agriculture and Forest. Royal Society for Protection of Nature manages places for endangered bird species like Phobjikha Valley and Bumdeling for black necked cranes. Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation also looks after 16,000 square kilometers of protected areas. Most of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are inter-connected, at least with biological corridors.