Environmental resources of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country
of ~40,000 km2 in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region of South Asia, at the
eastern end of the Himalayas. The landscape ranges from subtropical plains in
the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan heights in the north, where some peaks
exceed 7,000 m. With abundant rainfall and steep topography, hydroelectricity
represents 96% of the country's electricity generating capacity and 99.9% of
its electricity generation. About 87% of the electricity generated within
Bhutan is exported to India, generating over half of the country's income.
Assessment of this crucial resource is vital for its proper usage and
management especially in the light of potential changes in land use and
climate. Sustainable land management includes biodiversity at landscape levels, requiring an adequate knowledge
of the distribution of key elements of the biota and their environmental
Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP) was a GEF-funded project executed by
Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) of the Royal Government of Bhutan. It aimed at
realizing global and national environmental benefits from introducing cross sectorial
land management planning and implementation in selected pilot sites and at
bringing lessons learnt up to policy level for amendments of both planning
procedures and regulatory framework. A key goal included the strengthening of institutional and community capacity to anticipate
and manage land degradation in Bhutan.
To support the SLMP objectives, a Druk (national symbol of "Thunder Dragon") Dynamic
Information Framework (DrukDIF) was develop to facilitate the development
of climate change and land cover-land use change scenarios to provide responses
to resource questions. The intent was to provide
quantitative and geospatial baselines for land cover (vegetation structure,
plant-based biodiversity and functional types), land use, land quality (soils, topography), and hydrology
(stream flow network, flows, hydrology models) for the project geogs
here to explore DrukDIF.