An analysis of forestry policy, acts and rules of Bhutan to mainstream climate change adaptation

For Bhutan’s people, the forests provide food, timber, fibres and medicines; a wide range of ecosystem services (e.g. water regulation and purification, pollination, soil formation, nutrient recycling and climate regulation); and recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits. From a global perspective, Bhutan’s forests are also valuable carbon sinks, absorbing an estimated 6.3 million tonnes of carbon per year – more than four times the country’s emissions in 2000. Bhutan’s forests are also critical to its agriculture sector, which employs about 60% of the labour force and contributed nearly 17% of Bhutan’s GDP in 2010, even though just under 3% of Bhutan’s land is available for farming. The forests are particularly important to Bhutan’s poor, most of whom live in rural areas. While only 1.7% of Bhutan’s urban residents lived in poverty as of 2007, and 0.2% in extreme poverty in rural areas, the rates were 30.9% and 8% respectively. AKP supported thirteen countries in the Asian region to strengthen their capabilities to mainstream adaptation, introduce effective adaptation measures and assess their needs and priorities for adaptation. Bhutan is one of the thirteen countries supported by AKP.