Creating miracles while fighting air pollution- The inspiring story of Bhutan

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The amount of carbon dioxide emission is increasing day by day causing a rise in overall temperature and global warming. Main reason behind the increase is that most of the energy producing sources emit carbon dioxide (for e.g. in thermal plants), burning of combustible substances and even our vehicles and transports emit carbon dioxide.

Usually, the plants and trees are able to absorb most of the carbon dioxide that is emitted but due to increase in deforestation it has become hard to maintain that balance.

While most of the countries are struggling to become carbon neutral that is trying to find a balance between carbon dioxide emission and absorption, Bhutan has already achieved that milestone.

Bhutan may be a small country but it is the only country in this world that is carbon negative.

Carbon negative can be explained by the comparison between total amount of carbon dioxide released to total amount carbon dioxide absorbed in the atmosphere as total amount of carbon dioxide released is lower than the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed.

Bhutan produces around two million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide and absorbs around 7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

This milestone was achieved because the 4th king of Bhutan-King Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s belief that Gross National Happiness of the population of Bhutan was more important that Gross National Product. And further development was done by keeping this ideology in mind.

Few steps that were taken to achieve this are as follows-

-By maintaining 60+% of forest cover at all the times and not letting it go below that number played a huge role.

-By building Biological Corridors- People of Bhutan believe in co-existence that is why they have built biological corridors between forests to enable the free movement of wildlife throughout the forests

-By using Hydro-Power plants to generate electricity without causing pollution, and they highly promote the use of sustainable resources.

-By planting more trees, in 2016 on the birthday of the last prince they planted over 1 lakh trees, they even have the Guinness World record for planting the highest no. of trees in one day in the year 2015.

But despite its great efforts to maintain the balance, Bhutan is still suffering from the global warming without any of its own fault. China and India, two of those countries which contribute the most to the world’s pollution, surround Bhutan from two sides and is causing it to suffer from global warming, melting glaciers resulting in flash floods. Some states in India and China have the highest pollution index in the world. Unless some strict actions are taken, it is not possible reduce the pollution. We should learn from Bhutan, even though is has a smaller economy than most of the developed and developing countries but it is still better at controlling the air pollution than most of them.