Bhutan has successfully fulfilled its obligation is phasing out 100% of the CFC by 2010 and it has now embarked on the obligation to accelerate the phase-out of HCFC by 2025 instead of 2030 like other developing countries
In the past year Bhutan has achieved numerous progresses in environment conservation and an achievement of 81% forest cover.
This was highlighted by Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley in his address to the Parliament while presenting the State of the Nations Report. “The pride of Bhutan is the good health of its natural environment,” said Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley.
Lyonchhen said it was a result of translating a deep reverence for the natural environment into deliberate policies that place conservation at the center ofBhutan’sdevelopment strategy.
The Parliament last month also passed the Green Tax.
Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley said problems created by car ownership and over reliance on the carbon emitting transportation are outweighing their benefits.
The Prime Minister said people must work toward a sustainable transport system that meets the needs and foster a healthy environment.
Another initiative is the launch of the HCFC (hydro-clorofluro-carbon) management plan.“This isyet another substantive measure taken by Bhutan to contribute to protect the health of our ailing planet,” said the Prime Minister.
Lyonchhen said while Bhutan has successfully fulfilled its obligation is phasing out 100% of the CFC by 2010 and it has now embarked on the obligation to accelerate the phase-out of HCFC by 2025 instead of 2030 like other developing countries.
Initiatives like the revision of NAPA (National Adaptation Program of Action), clean development Mechanism, and various expert group meets have been achieved in the last one year.
A few others include reinforcing environmental conservation, strengthening legal framework, training of environmental impact assessment, establishing of compliance monitoring division, environmental services and monitoring, and water resources coordination and management.
A few weeks back Bhutan attended the Rio+20 summit where countries adopted Agenda 21- a blue print to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection.
“Bhutan had a successful participation at the conference managing to put the GNH philosophy in the spot light as an alternative economic development paradigm,” said Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley.
In 2011, the cabinet approved the National Forest Policy 2011, which calls for scientific management of forest based on the functionality of the landscapes to ensure sustainable delivery of social, economic, ecological and cultural benefits for the well being of the society.
Recreational parks have also been established which includes Kuenselphodrang Recreational Park and Phajoding Recreational Area.
A total of 57, 146 acres of land were brought under afforestation and reforestation program against a set target of 4,233 acres of land.
While there are a number of emerging pressures to the natural environment due to rising living standards, urbanization, hydropower development, and road construction, the Prime Minister said the environment is also threatened by climate change.
Bhutan today is a member of twelve environmental conservations and has declared to remain carbon neutral at COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“We are proud that 53% of ecosystem services generated by our forests is benefited by populations outside Bhutan thus making Bhutan a net donor in this vital area,” said Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley.
Recently, Bhutan observed the pedestrians’ day throughout the country in the core city areas to mark World Environment Day on June 5. It will be now observed every Tuesday.
“It has been started so that the Bhutanese will walk for health, experience the joy of walking with friends and family and colleagues, and with the hope that we will seize the opportunity to contemplate the fragile nature of our Himalayan mountain ecology and make a small contribution to its preservation,” said Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley.