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Revised vehicle emission standard and ambient air quality standards to be issued

The state of the nation report detailed the conservation efforts put forth in conserving the natural environment.

With 72 percent forest cover Bhutan is the only country that is carbon neutral and Bhutan is beginning to be recognized as the only carbon negative.

“These are the reasons why Bhutan is being recognized internationally as a role model, which was clearly expressed during COP-21 when countries committed to the Paris Agreement,” the report said.

The PM in the report expressed gratitude to the parliament for ratifying the Paris Agreement and said Bhutan is looked up as a champion of the environment and climate change and it befits Bhutan to be a group that works for a global cause.

The report said the Paris agreement seeks to keep the rise in average global temperature well below 2 degree Celsius, compared with pre-industrial times, and individual countries made voluntary pledges to curb emission of green-house gases.

“Notorious emitters of greenhouses gases too committed to reduce their green houses gas emissions and are actually taking the lead in investing in renewable or clean energy,” the report said.

However, the report said that environment it is not just confined to trees, it is also about water and air and the National Environment Commission Secretariat has been gradually working to increase coverage of air quality being monitored.

Over the coming year, two new additional stations in Darla and Chelela will be established.

These stations will provide data and information on local air and also transboundary air pollution to gain deeper understanding on the pathways of the winter haze that affects large parts of the country, especially along the southern belt of the country.

A revised vehicle emission standard and ambient air quality standards will also be issued.

According to the state of the nation report Bhutan has over 5,400 species of plants, including 300 species of medicinal plant, some hardy species thriving even at 3,700 m above. While Bhutan has one also of the richest stocks of orchids in the world with 396 species, 82 are unique to the country. Bhutan also boasts of 48 of the 1,000 species of Rhododendrons found worldwide.

As part of His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo’s birth anniversary celebration, the report said that His Majesty commended that a flower exhibition should be held where on April 1, 2015, Her Majesty the royal grandmother, Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck, cut the ribbon of the Himalayan Kingdom’s floral history. The nation had its first Flower Exhibition at the Ugyen Pelri palace in Paro.

The report stated that apart from the beauty that was exhibited His Majesty had other objectives that the exhibition was envisioned to inspire appreciation for beautiful spaces, foster community vitality and encourage   the growth of a vibrant entrepreneurship in floriculture.

The third flower exhibition was held in Thimphu from June 5 to June 11 this year.

In an effort towards maintaining the forest and environment, the government has designated several areas as parks and biological corridors. Since this requires financial support and the government has established Bhutan for Life (BFL) of US$ 45 million which will be used to maintain the protected areas.

The fund raising is almost complete and the government will launch BFL on November 11 this year.

The government has also established Green Bhutan as Government owned corporation to look after the environment.

Drawing inspiration from His Majesty’s speech during the first flower exhibition in 2015, Green Bhutan Corporation Limited was established to promote clean and green environment.

As per the state of the nation report, GCBL is mandated for landscaping, urban greening, plantation and floriculture among others, which will promote tourism. It is expected that 500 people will receive jobs in this corporation.

Meanwhile the report also saw the PM congratulating the CSOs who work to keep the environment clean.

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