Get the latest flights and travel reviews straight to your inbox. [66], Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, national parks, protected areas, biological corridors, Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, Bhutan, "Bhutan to Submit its Climate Issues to UNFCCC in Durban", "About the National Environment Commission", "Waste Management Regulation in Pipeline", "Shifting Cultivation in Bhutan: A Gradual Approach to Modifying Land Use Patterns", "Could We Not Make the Best of Our Wastes? Since 2006, significant air pollution, largely attributed to external sources in India, has manifested in a brown haze in the atmosphere above Bhutan. In addition to these general issues, others such as landfill availability and air and noise pollution are particularly prevalent in relatively urbanized and industrialized areas of Bhutan. Air pollution. [12] The ban on plastic bags, however, has proven a daunting challenge in implementation and enforcement because of the practicality of lightweight airtight storage and a lack of feasible alternatives. The provision of electricity, as well as better regulation of fuelwood collectors and more aggressive reforestation projects, was seen in the 1980s as a key factor in forest conservation. Data Products Insights Data Partners. Tsheri cultivation, forest fires, and overgrazing also contributed to the degradation of Bhutan's forestry resource. [37] Similarly, the member nations of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) adopted bilateral agreements including measures on climate change and glaciers at its summit in April 2010. [20][21][22][23] Bhutan has planned an industrial waste repository in Pasakha, Phuentsholing, to receive slag, microsilica powder, and gases emitted by steel, ferroalloy and carbide industries. In the face of increasing denuded hillsides, private logging was banned, and strict standards for public-sector logging operations were established in 1979. [50] Still, compliance with proper waste disposal remained a challenge within all segments, from street vendors[54] to ordinary citizens. As governments and scientists work together to find solutions, you can educate yourself about air pollution and human health in your area. Please note that data from the two DOS AQMs cannot be applied to the whole city of Kathmandu. With the exception of Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and Torsa Strict Nature Reserve, these protected areas are inhabited or are located within populated areas. en. One of the immediate results of forestry sector regulation, however, was a sharp decrease in revenues since the late 1970s. This among many other climate-related issues identified in the report prompted the regional association of government ministers to establish the Southeast Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund in Thimphu in September 2007. Atmospheric Environment 118, 98-106. Debris cover, such as rocks and mud, set apart the relatively stable glaciers of the Himalaya from the pristine glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau, currently in fast retreat. Air pollution causes. Through 2008, however, protected areas expanded significantly with the establishment of Wangchuck Centennial Park, spanning a 4,914 square kilometres (1,897 sq mi) swath in northern Bhutan. It is theorized that Bhutan’s main source of air pollution are vehicles, construction activities, bukharis, forest fires and economic activities like factories and mining. [11] Although porous borders are blamed for trafficking in poached wildlife,[11] some protected species such as cordyceps have their own markets within Bhutan.[31][32][33][34]. Among Bhutan's most pressing issues are traditional firewood collection, crop and flock protection, and waste disposal, as well as modern concerns such as industrial pollution, wildlife conservation, and climate change that threaten Bhutan's population and biodiversity. The March 21-25, 2016 Training in Household Air Pollution (THAP) in Bhutan was a five-day training workshop on household air pollution (HAP) and monitoring targeting officials, practitioners, and academics currently involved or interested in initiating research related to HAP including evaluation of health and other impacts from traditional and advanced cook stoves. Air pollution in Nepal, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley, has emerged as a serious environmental health risk. Fax: 975-2-322975,,, Covid-19 brings changes in work style and discipline, Govt. To address environmental issues, the government of Bhutan has banned certain practices with varying success. English Deutsch العربية português русский español हिंदी 日本語 français 中文 Sign Up Log in. Similar patterns in neighboring Indian regions project yield losses between 10 and 40 percent due to these changes. Bhutan rejected World Bank aid to build a major dam on the Manas Chhu in 1986 that would have flooded this major conservation area on the southern Bhutan-India border. Starting in 1977, the World Wildlife Fund began supporting Bhutan's forest management through organizing forest ranger training programs, supplying funds for forest boundary demarcation, building guard posts, and constructing a patrol road for what was later to be designated the Royal Manas National Park. Air pollution in Bhutan is still largely particulate matter that comes from a variety of sources such as vehicular emission, space heating through wood and other fuels, forest fires, open burning of agricultural debris, open burning of waste and windblown dust particles, among others. [13][14][15], Besides tsheri agriculture, other traditional practices have drawn concern for the environment. Land and water use have also become matters of environmental concern in both rural and urban settings. Earlier last year, the stations in Phuentsholing and Samdrujongkhar recorded PM amount beyond the permissible limit. [11][29] In 1993, the Fund revised and reduced its extensive parks system for better ecological representation and management. AQI 21. As a result, communities outside urban areas suffer consequences of discarding refuse into the common water supply, increasing the demand for alternative water sources. [17] Some local farmers have begun planting crops of molasses grass in an effort to repel primates naturally. [1], Through 2011, Bhutan experienced accelerated economic activities which pressured natural resources such as land, air, and water. In addition to these general issues, othe… The Bhutan State of the Environment report 2016 states that air pollution is becoming an emerging issue that has serious risks on human and environment health. At the heart of the conservation effort is a $43 million fund—the first of its kind in Asia—to permanently protect Bhutan’s network of protected areas. Air pollution, release into the atmosphere of various gases, finely divided solids, or finely dispersed liquid aerosols at rates that exceed the natural capacity of the environment to dissipate and dilute or absorb them. High concentrations can cause undesirable health, economic, or aesthetic effects. Air pollution is a major environmental health problem affecting everyone. Because it is particularly environmentally harmful, the practice has been banned by the government since 1969,[9][10] however it continues today. Semiannual NEC site visits check for compliance with existing regulation and may impose relatively trivial fines, however living conditions remained poor due to dust. The concentration of particulate matter less than 10 μm in diameter (PM10) is the parameter measured and monitored through the existing stations in Bhutan. A 2008 United Nations report suggested that due to rising temperatures, glaciers in Bhutan were retreating at a rate of 30–40 meters per year, poised to make many lakes burst their banks and send millions of gallons of floodwater downstream. As per a study based on 2016 data, at least 140 million people in India breathe air that is 10 times or more over the WHO safe limit and 13 of the world's 20 cities with the highest annual levels of air pollution are in India. [16] Modernly, domestic timber harvesting remains legal though subject to strict regulation and inspection. There are a number of environmental issues in Bhutan. The regulations aimed to cover refuse segregation, including industrial, chemical, radioactive, and electronic waste, which theretofore were mixed with general refuse. In response, the government has implemented an insurance scheme, begun constructing solar powered alarm fences, watch towers, search lights, and has provided fodder and salt licks outside human settlement areas to encourage animals to stay away. Within the Bhutanese government, the independent National Environment Commission (NEC)[3] and Bhutan Trust Fund,[4][5] as well as the executive Ministries of Health (for chemical and radioactive waste),[6] Economic Affairs,[7] and Agriculture and Forests (Department of Forestry Services)[8] are tasked with addressing environmental issues. [35][36] Although GLOFs are not a new phenomenon in Bhutan, their frequency has risen in the past three decades. Last month, Phuentsholing recorded double the amount of PM10 reduction from last year. As of 2011, the Fund had recruited 189 field staff, had trained 24 post-graduate specialists, and had provided over 300 short scientific courses. Uncontrolled felling of trees in the 1970s by private companies in logging areas and by rural populations along roads and in main valleys stripped hillsides and caused serious erosion. Bhutan has faced ongoing and immediate climate change since the late twentieth century. Read the air pollution in Bhutan, get real-time, historical and forecast PM2.5 and weather data with AirVisual. “Mixed Area” refers to areas where residential and/or commercial activities take place and “Sensitive Area” refers to areas where sensitive targets are in places like hospitals, schools, and sensitive ecosystems. [56], In some areas with designated dumping sites, the distance to landfills makes them less practical than illegally dumping by the wayside or into rivers. [24] Bhutan's four cement plants have been cited as some of the most prevalent causes of domestic air pollution, with three out of four running without modern emission controls. For both locations, one can select either ozone or PM 2.5 data. Air quality measurement is commonly reported in terms of micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). Very easy to set up, they only require a WIFI access point and a USB power supply. Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility. Air quality monitoring stations report drop in the particulate matter. Pasakha, Bhutan; Novi Sad, Serbia; Cairo, Egypt; Protecting Yourself from Air Pollution. [9] In the early 1990s, Bhutan imposed a ban on timber exports, though domestic timber harvesting remains heavily regulated under a network of foresters and road checkpoints. Burning fossil fuels releases gases and chemicals into the air. [16], Recognizing the potential value of its forestry resource, Bhutan became increasingly conscientious about forestry management in the 1970s. Wangchuk, T., Knibbs, L. D., He, C., Morawska, L., 2015. Bhutan Air Quality Index (AQI). [6] With its relatively high population and powerful local government, the urban thromde of Thimphu has often been at the forefront of urban environmental issues in Bhutan. In Thimphu, a significant drop was observed in February this year, with a PM10 level of 34.53 µg/m3 compared to last year’s 61.19 µg/m3. Some Bhutanese had changed crops as a result of these environmental changes. Bhutan; AQI (US) AQI (Australia) AQHI (Canada) AQI (China) AQI (Netherlands) AQI (US) CAQI (Europe) AQI (UK) AQI (India) Places Included. According to the standards, the permissible limit of PM10 in the industrial area is 200 μg/m3, 100 μg/m3 in mixed area and 75 μg/m3 in sensitive area on 24 hours average basis. According to experts, breathing in the microscopic pollutants from fuel combustion, like automobiles, refineries and power plants, and indoor sources like tobacco smoke inflames and damages the lining of the lungs over time, weakening the body’s ability to fend off respiratory infections. Scan QR Code to Download App. Most air pollution comes from energy use and production, says John Walke, director of the Clean Air Project, part of the Climate and Clean Air program at NRDC. expects strong economic recovery next fiscal year, BTF gears to become a fully-fledged member of ITF, Bhutan’s earthquake hazard and damage probabilities, Judiciary must protect the fundamentals of criminal justice, Investing in people to ensure self-employment. Soil dust and pollution from metal smelters account for 9% and 7% of PM2.5 air pollution respectively. Bumthang. Air pollution is an emerging issue in Bhutan resulting from increased urbanization and industrialization. Air pollution in cities is mainly caused by enormous number of vehicles. 55.77. Two particulate matters called PM10 and PM 2.5, also known as particle pollution, is the common type of air pollution in Bhutan. [21], Through 2011, many thromdes and smaller villages in Bhutan had pits or areas for burning refuse due to a lack of designated landfills or disposal sites. [4][5] By 2011, human development and illegal activities such as habitat destruction and poaching threaten to wipe out endangered species, including the white bellied heron, one of the country's rarest birds. Bhutan. However, an official with the National Environment Commission said that there was no visible difference in the level of PM because the country was not under lockdown. Through 2009, the government reaction was a "polluters pay" policy that failed to achieve its desired results. Bhutan has also seen a shift in agriculture patterns due to climate change, prompting concern over the stability of agriculture in Bhutan. [26][27], In 2011, the NEC began setting up stations to monitor air quality in Thimphu, Kanglung, Pasakha and Rinchending. And in an especially destructive feedback loop, air pollution not only contributes to climate change but is also exacerbated by it. The report states that brick kilns cause 38% of PM2.5 pollution in Dhaka, while motor vehicles cause 19% and road dust causes 18%. Because affordable electricity was not available throughout the country, the government established fuelwood plantations near villages to accommodate daily needs and to promote forest conservation. [41], The 2008 UN report also indicated Himalayan glaciers would melt within 25 years,[42] however Prime Minister Jigme Thinley expressed a more dim outlook in a press conference in late March 2010, stating, "Our glaciers are withdrawing very fast and we have reasons to worry that they may in fact disappear not in 2035, but even earlier. Land and water use have also become matters of environmental concern in both rural and urban settings. Where glacial movement temporarily blocks riverflows, downstream areas may be threatened by GLOFs. Satellite imaging also confirmed changes in glaciers and snow peaks, indicating increased runoff and decreased coverage. This year, emissions were within the permissible limit as per the Ambient Air Quality Standards 2010. [48] Villages near designated open air landfills and burning sites likewise report pollution and toxicity from runoff, as well as excess scavenger activity, posing health hazards. [15], In the late 2000s, Thimphu experienced steady growth despite water shortages. Air Pollution. [26][48] In 2012 unsound disposal of waste reached 52% of generated waste.[49]. 41.67. [51] Thimphu thromde authorities estimated 49 percent of Thimphu's total refuse was biodegradable organic waste; 25.3 percent was paper; 13.7 percent was plastics; and 3.6 percent was glass. According to the Journal of Thoracic Disease, these steps can be taken to reduce individual exposure to air pollutants. Among Bhutan's most pressing issues are traditional firewood collection, crop and flock protection, and waste disposal, as well as modern concerns such as industrial pollution, wildlife conservation, and climate change that threaten Bhutan's population and biodiversity. Compare and contact a supplier serving Bhutan [37][38] Significant GLOFs occurred in 1957, 1960, 1968 and 1994, devastating lives and property downstream. Because of terrain, more accessible forests had been overcut whereas remote forests remained largely in their natural state through the early 1990s. ", "White-Bellied Heron Habitat Under Threat", "Himalayan glaciers not retreating, says new report", "Thorthormi water level brought down 43 cm", "Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity - Supplementary Material", "Thimphu City's Pilot Project Aims to Segregate Waste", "Piloting PPP on Integrated Solid Waste Management in Thimphu Municipality", "Water Scarcity at Sarpang Resettlements", "Energy, Environment & Disaster Management – UNDP Bhutan",, Articles with dead external links from December 2016, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with dead external links from September 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 22 January 2021, at 06:56. Air Matters. Memoirs from the late 1900s about Bhutan often talk about its infamous form of transit: a series of minibuses ruefully called ‘Vomit Comets’. [55] Areas downstream from Thimphu along the Wangchu River deteriorated significantly because of human waste and refuse. PO BOX 204 Changes in the level of PM is attributed to dry winter months in which the level is expected to change due to climate factors. Development activities increased urbanization, industrialization, mining and quarrying, agriculture, and solid waste management projects. A recent American research study found that air pollution is linked to significantly higher rates of death from Covid-19. In August 2018, WWF, the Bhutan government, donors, and partners from around the world created Bhutan for Life. Android. Anthropogenic air pollution sources are: While residents express frustration at the diminution in health and lifestyle, industrial operators point out that in Bhutan the provision of health benefits is the role of the government. It occurs when the environment is contaminated by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. Water shortages have become a widespread phenomenon in rural settlements,[60][61][62][63] and as internal resettlement produces new villages, many there also face water shortages. Air pollution in Bhutan is still largely particulate matter that comes from a variety of sources such as vehicular emission, space heating through wood and other fuels, forest fires, open burning of agricultural debris, open burning of … Very easy to set up, they only require a WIFI access point and a USB power supply. [57], With the advent of loudspeakers, headphones, and rumbling engines, noise pollution has been identified in Bhutanese media as an environmental concern, citing negative potentials ranging from distraction to deafness. PM is identified internationally as one of the main causes of negative health impacts from air pollution in the urban areas. This air pollution resulted in decreased crop output and increased concerns about public health. The Department of Forestry was established in 1952 to oversee conservation and exploitation of the country's significant forestry resources. Realtime broadcasting air quality information on your phone for more than 180 countries. [46], Through the late 20th century, Bhutan's low population and the general absence of overdevelopment contributed to its forest preservation. [58][59], Competition for water use between residents and industry,[20] as well as drying water sources,[2] are actual and imminent environmental issues facing residents in Bhutan. It is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets that get into the air. outdoor air pollution and factors driving them in the school environment in rural Bhutan. Air pollution in the form of carbon dioxide an… Pollution in Thimphu, Bhutan. [20], Pasakha, in Phuentsholing, is a major industrial center and has been the focus of many industry-related environmental issues brought since Bhutan began its development programs in the 1960s. In many cases, the least financially and politically empowered find themselves the most affected by environmental issues. World Data Atlas ... Air Pollution Causes and Effects in World. Overview. Contributors to poor air quality in Bhutan include the construction industry, vehicle emissions, wood burning stoves, and burning of household and farm waste. Waste disposal issues often fall to local governments, Bhutan's dzongkhags and thromdes. Before hydroelectric power and other modern energy sources became available, the source of fuel for heating, cooking, and lighting was nearly exclusively firewood. [11] In April 1999, Bhutan also prohibited plastic bags nationwide. [16] Firewood harvesting and management remains one of Bhutan's leading environmental challenges; the kingdom is one of the world's leaders in firewood consumption at a rate of 2.8 cubic metres (99 cu ft) per annum and accounts for 80 percent of the kingdom's energy consumption. Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal. Once connected, air pollution levels are reported instantaneously and in real-time on our maps As of 2011, Thimphu alone produced some 51 tonnes (8,000 st) of waste daily, at an average household output of 0.96 kilograms (2.1 lb);[50] this represented a nearly threefold increase over the three prior years. There are a number of environmental issues in Bhutan. "[40] Further studies in 2009 indicated the rate of glacial melt in Bhutan was three times the world average, and that over the previous three decades regional temperatures had risen by 2.7 °C (36.9 °F). [11], Across Bhutan, traditional farmers and grazers have continued to face human-wildlife conflicts such as crop and livestock depredation. Many species are poached for their alleged medicinal properties. The repository at Bhutan's largest industrial site was initially slated for completion in July 2011. Pollen and Air Quality forecast for Phuntsholing, BT with air quality index, pollutants, pollen count and pollution map from Weather Underground. A separate report from scientists in Italy noted that the high death rates seen in the north of the country correlate with the highest levels of air pollution. Fueling an Unhealthy Future: Governments Urged to Redirect Subsidies from Health Harming Industries (3.54MB) 26th September 2019. The roads themselves can be perilous: they are cut into the mountain and drop precipitously […] [45], In the early 21st century, Bhutanese farmers first experienced agricultural fluctuations due to climate change, including higher temperatures, prolonged seasons, and increased erosion due to retreating glaciers in Bhutan. Results for air pollution control system equipment with gas monitoring instruments and systems for denox process control applications from Gasmet and other leading brands. In a November 2011 effort to combat downstream degradation, waste outlets were converted into collection chambers, and refuse collection programs were instituted in the area. Land degradation, biodiversity and habitat loss, high fuel-wood consumption, and human-wildlife conflicts are some of Bhutan's environmental challenges. Though passed in 2009, regulation under the Waste Prevention and Management Act was finalized in 2011. Though protected within Bhutan, wildlife products including rhinoceros horn, tiger bones, musk, and cordyceps sinensis command high prices outside the kingdom. The Fund alone manages a total protected area of 16,396.43 square kilometres (6,330.70 sq mi) – nearly the size of Swaziland and more than 42 percent of Bhutan's total 38,394 square kilometres (14,824 sq mi). [42] Another preliminary survey conducted by a team of Japanese and Bhutanese scientists, including a glacio-microbiologist, glacio-ecologist and geologist, indicated that the presence of a peculiar microorganism on the surfaces of glaciers could accelerate glacial melting and eventually lead to a glacial outburst. The parks and sanctuaries are all connected either directly or by "biological corridors." Due to Covid-19 outbreak and resulting lockdowns and curfews, nations across the world have recorded a drastic improvement in the air quality. [30], Poaching in Bhutan is an environmental issue both within the kingdom and at its borders. Since 1992, protected areas of Bhutan have been managed by the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry Services Division. Initially in the amount of US$20 million, the UNDP-administered fund was aimed at producing up to US$1 million per year for training in forestry and ecology, surveying forests, reviewing and implementing management plans for protected areas, and supporting government environmental offices, public awareness programs, and integrated conservation and development programs. Surveying, demarcation, conservation, and management plans for harvesting forest products were part of the Fifth Development Plan's focus on forestry preservation. [52][53] Thimphu municipal authorities also addressed the ubiquitous plastic in its refuse with a shredder for PET bottles to facilitate transport to recycling in India. [51] To more effectively approach refuse issues and to address different varieties of waste, Thimphu began a subsidized pilot project for sorting between biodegradable and non-biodegradable refuse.