"The problems facing the world today - they challenge all of us equally. And the solutions to these challenges must come from a real sense of concern and care for others, for all sentient beings and, for future generations. We must care about what happens to this earth."

His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan

"Bhutan for Life is the rescue mission, a funding solution that will fortify Bhutan's conservation efforts and allow the country to sustain its commitment to environmental protection for eternity."

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of Bhutan

"The global WWF Network is building on a 40-year relationship with the Kingdom of Bhutan to create - along with key partners - Bhutan for life, a transition fund comprising public and private resources that will allow Bhutan to finance its remarkable system of parks forever."

Carter Roberts, President & CEO, World Wildlife Fund


This abundance of pristine protected areas is a haven for wildlife. Some 5,000 plant species are found in Bhutan’s natural areas, as well as more than 200 species of mammals—all with the space they need to roam free.

Bhutan, with most of its area under forests, offers one of the best hopes for maintaining a viable tiger population into the future. Tigers have been recorded to be residing in the low tropical forests in the south and at high altitudes in Bhutan.

A wealth of benefits to people – locally and globally

Bhutan’s rivers -- which flow into neighboring China, India and beyond -- are part of a region that provides water for at least one-fifth of the world’s population.

Bhutan is net sink for greenhouse gases. Its forests sequester more than 6.3 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is four times more than what Bhutan emits, helping to reduce global warming.

Bhutan is not carbon neutral, it is carbon negative. Our entire country generates 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide, but our forests sequester more than three times that amount so we are net carbon sink for than 4 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Promise to remain carbon neutral forever

Bhutan first made the promise to remain carbon neutral for all time in 2009 during COP 15 in Copenhagen. Then, in December 2015 in Paris, Bhutan reaffirmed to remain carbon neutral and pursue low emission development to achieve the ambitious global targets of climate change post 2020.

Here are some of the ways Bhutan is already keeping this promise:

  • Bhutan provides free electricity to rural farmers to curb the use firewood.
  • Bhutan is investing in sustainable transport and subsidizing the purchase of electric vehicles. Similarly, Bhutan subsidizes the cost of LED lights.
  • The entire government is trying to go paperless.
  • Bhutan is cleaning the entire country through Clean Bhutan, a national program, and we are planting trees throughout our country through Green Bhutan, another national program.

Poaching and human-wildlife conflicts are on the rise

Bhutan is experiencing increased poaching and the country’s current enforcement capacity is unable to effectively tackle it.

Human-wildlife conflict is also rising and Bhutan does not have adequate interventions to help rural residents mitigate such threats in a responsible and conservation-friendly way.

Increased climate change threats make protecting Bhutan's forests even more crucial

Bhutan is highly vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change due to its fragile mountainous ecosystem. It is projected that both the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events would increase with changing climate.

Outside aid is decreasing…while pressure to develop is increasing

Just as all these new threats and critical funding needs have arrived at Bhutan’s doorstep, its foreign aid is declining.

As the country’s funding sources decline, there is an ever-rising pressure to mine and build on land in or near Bhutan’s protected areas. Without any other financial solution, these options may become more attractive than conservation.

Bhutan needs balance

At this critical juncture, Bhutan is in need for a balanced and sustainable development paradigm to:

  • Balance the need for economic development with the need to protect natural resources.
  • Balance opportunities in the cities with incentives in the rural villages.
  • Balance tradition with the desires for modern amenities.