Prayer flags and mountain views, Bhutan |  <i>Scott Pinnegar</i> Hiking in Bhutan |  <i>Scott Pinnegar</i> Views across to Taktsang Monastery or 'Eagle's Nest' in Bhutan |  <i>Liz Light</i> Rocky river views trekking through Shana |  <i>Gavin Turner</i> River crossings, trekking in Bhutan |  <i>Scott Pinnegar</i>

Journey into the heartland of Bhutan

The only carbon negative country in the world

While many countries struggle to reduce their carbon emissions, and some flat out refuse, the Kingdom of Bhutan is gaining global recognition for its climate change policies. That’s right! The tiny, landlocked country nestled in the Himalayas is the first and only place to be officially carbon negative. That means it’s actually removing more greenhouse gases from the environment than it’s producing!

Bhutan and Climate Change

Obviously this is a country that takes climate change seriously. Why? Wedged between India and China, some of the worst contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, Bhutan is seeing the direct effects of changing temperatures. The Himalayas are getting warmer, ice is melting and newly-formed glacial rivers threaten to burst their banks and flood farms and villages.

‘Heck no!,’ said Bhutan. In response, the country dedicated 72% of its land to forest cover and amended its constitution to ensure that the forested areas will never fall below 60%. Because of all those trees, the country offsets 6 million tons of CO2 each year. That’s more than 2 times the amount it produces!

But it doesn’t end there. The country strongly encourages afforestation (that means creating entirely new forests), it provides free electricity to reduce emissions from burning wood and it gives environmental subsidies for LED lights and Nissan electric cars. It also created protected areas with strict rules against poaching, mining, hunting and pollution, as well as biological corridors where animals are free to roam, adapt and reproduce.  If that wasn’t amazing enough, the country is promising to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions and produce zero waste by 2030!

 

Beautiful landscape on Chomolhari Trek |  <i>Fiona Windon</i> Distant Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan |  <i>Scott Pinnegar</i> Trekking through pristine forests in Bhutan |  <i>Scott Pinnegar</i> Rocky cliff side paths of Jigme Dorje National Park |  <i>Gavin Turner</i> Lunana Glacial Lake Bhutan |  <i>David Marriott</i>

Inspired? See it for yourself!
Lucky for you, World Expeditions organizes a range of trips to the ‘Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon’. Here are just a few of the ways you can see it with us: 

Essence of Bhutan
This comprehensive adventure combines rugged scenery and snowcapped peaks with heavily forested foothills and subtropical plains. You’ll be able to take in the iconic Taktsang Monastery, the sights and sounds of capital Thimphu and drive across the Dochu La Pass to explore the isolated yet beautiful Gangtey Valley.

East Himalayan Kingdoms
Combining the ‘Dragon Kingdom' of Bhutan with visits to the neighbouring Darjeeling and Sikkim kingdoms, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the extraordinary landscapes and the rich history of the East Himalaya. UNESCO sites, memorable mountain views, Buddhist monasteries, hill stations, local markets and colorful villages all come together to create this magnificent cultural journey.

Bhutan Thimphu Festival & Trek
Starting in the Paro valley, you’ll explore areas rich in cultural history and stunning scenery before trekking through old-growth forest to the capital, Thimphu. Here, you’ll have the chance to witness the annual festival, a spectacle of colourful celebration that’s said to bless its attendants with good fortune. 

Bhutan Hike and Bike

With its high mountain trails and sealed, mainly car-free roads, the Kingdom of Bhutan provides an awe-inspiring setting for exhilarating bicycle rides. Much of the route is through pristine forests of conifer, oak and rhododendrons with ample time to wander through markets and see monasteries and forts.

Bhutan Snowman Trek
This is one of the world’s most challenging treks and will take you acrossBhutan amid a constant backdrop of 7,000m peaks. Only a handful of trekkers are up to the challenge each season but they’re all rewarded with access to Lunana, the most remote region of the country, where tiny Buddhist monasteries and secluded villages remain isolated for months at a time.

Did that whet your appetite for a Bhutanese adventure? Find out about all our trips to Bhutan at worldexpeditions.com/Bhutan

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