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The Kingdom of Bhutan is situated in South Asia which has one-fifth of the world’s population, and is sandwiched between the world’s most populous countries – India and China. The terrain is among the most rugged and mountainous in the world. The Himalayas form a formidable natural boundary in the north and the plains of India border the southern part of the country.
The resident population of Bhutan is 634,982 (RGoB 2005). It covers an area of approximately 38,394 square kilometres with a maximum longitudinal distance of 330 kilometres and a latitudinal distance of 180 kilometres.
Bhutan can be divided into three major areas: the southern foothills, the inner Himalayas and higher Himalayas with elevation stretching from 100 meters above sea level in the southern foothills to over 7,550 meters in the north. Bhutan today is seen as a model for proactive conservation initiatives and has received international acclaim for its commitment to the maintenance of its biodiversity. This is reflected in the decision to maintain at least sixty percent of the land area under forest cover, to designate more than a quarter of its territory as national parks, reserves and other protected areas, and most recently to identify a further 9% of land area as biodiversity corridors. Currently, 72.5% of the total land area is forested and protected areas make up 28% of the total land with 9% designated as Biological Corridors. Only 7.8% of the land area is used for agriculture.

Publication information

  • IIED code: G03037
  • Published: 2008 - IIED and CLACC network
  • Area: Asia
  • Theme: Climate change
  • Language: English

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