Bhutan is a tiny mountainous country landlocked far away in the Himalayas. Aided by it’s expensive visa policy for most tourists, Bhutan has largely stayed away from excessive commercialization in the name of tourism and has thus kept it’s mysterious aura intact.
72% of the country is covered in forests and this has helped it become a carbon sink rather than a carbon polluter. While it’s trees can absorb about 6 million tons of carbon per year, Bhutan only produces 1.5 million tons of carbon annually. Another key factor in helping it become carbon negative is importance given to Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
As part of GNH, one of the key initiatives was the pledge to not let forest cover go below 60%, ban logging and also encourage the use of hydroelectric power and other renewable energy sources. While this started off as a project to becoming carbon neutral, today Bhutan stands out as the only country in the world which is carbon negative. Moreover, GNH has been adopted into happiness surveys and reports in many other parts of the world.
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