Environmental problems in Bhutan

Trouble in the mountains

Bhutan may be relatively isolated and not too vulnerable to population pressure, but that doesn’t mean its biodiversity and other natural resources are free from problems.
Deforestation

To make room for agriculture, forests are being felled in several parts of the country. The tropical and sub-tropical zones of the south and the temperate zones of the interior are particularly at risk.

Illegal logging of timber, over-exploitation of non-timber forest products, and forest fires are also drivers of deforestation in Bhutan.

In the wake of these activities, wildlife is forced to survive in increasingly fragmented spaces. Over time, this can lead to loss of biodiversity, and degradation of ecological services such as soil protection and erosion control.
What is WWF doing? / ©: WWF
What is WWF doing?
© WWF
Illegal and unsustainable wildlife exploitation

Bhutan’s proximity to markets for parts or products made from wildlife is a major concern for species such as musk deer, tigers and leopards. With high prices being offered for these products, may people have taken up poaching to meet demand. In the long run, poaching could threaten the viability of the species that are much in demand because of unproven medicinal properties.
Unsustainable agriculture

In several parts of Bhutan, livestock quantities exceed the natural carrying capacity of the land. This can lead to loss of species, a reduction of productivity and increased erosion.

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