Word from fourth King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk
“Throughout the centuries, the Bhutanese have treasured their natural environment and have looked upon it as the source of all life. This traditional reverence for nature has delivered us into the twentieth century with our environment still richly intact. We wish to continue living in harmony with nature and to pass on this rich heritage to our future generations. ”
The pristine natural environment of Bhutan with high risen rugged mountainous and deep valleys, offers rich and diverse ecosystem. Recognizing the importance of conservation of its rich natural environment, the Bhutan government under the law, over 60% of the kingdom must remain under forest cover for all time to come. Currently about 72.5 percent of the country is under forest cover and more than 26% of the land is under the protected areas comprising of four national parks. About 9% of the land is under biological corridors in which wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves connect protected areas that are designated as home for the wild life sanctuaries. Additionally, Bhutan in the midst of the Himalayas boasts itself in its rich flora and fauna because of its forest cover that is intact and the great altitudinal and climatic range of its location. Within its biodiversity realm, the country boasts of over 200 species of mammals, 770 species of birds, 5400 species of plants, 300 species of medicinal plants.
As a whole, Bhutan is very conscious of the need of protecting its naturally given environment. With the national policy and under the Bhutanese law, 60% out of 72.5% of the kingdom must remain covered by forest for all time to come. The country has received the Earth Award in 2005 established by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and has been included in the list of the world’s “ hot spots “ for conservation of biological diversity. Through learning from the mistakes of other countries, Bhutan with its late development the country’s policy of development has been taken care along with more emphasis on the conservation of forests and rare flora and fauna. As mentioned earlier the country’s policy of maintaining 60% forest cover for all time to come. Bhutan has constituted protected areas of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. The country has categorized nine protected areas into strict nature reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries representing typical biodiversity at different levels of species, genetic, landscapes, and eco-systems.
As part of the global community, Wild Mountain Adventure is constantly working towards protecting the fragile environment and making use of its precious natural resources in an efficient, fair and responsible way. Further, we encourage our value travelers to support conservation of Bhutan’s natural environment by shouldering great responsibility with the Bhutanese in respecting, preserving and not polluting the environment. Wild Mountain Adventure is shouldering a responsibility with the international and local communities to lessen our impact on the planet, by encouraging our international suppliers regarding the policy of environment concern as well our local communities, by educating the local people for efficient and sustainable use of natural and economical resources to further practice of good energy conservation and preservation of biodiversity. By doing this, we as a team help preserve threatening the natural environment of the kingdom and further continue living in harmony with nature and to pass on this rich heritage to our future generation. Wild Mountain Adventure is constantly working towards something new in a way to limit the physical impacts on every destination we visit, so to ensure that our upcoming generation will enjoy this rich heritage.
- Eating and drinking always go hand to hand on road journey, therefore, dump all those waste - empty packets, bottles canes and other related items that effect the environment in the waste bag in the vehicle. Make sure you dump the garbage bag when you reach your destination, provided if the disposal facilities are available.
- As a global community and custodians of the future generations, shoulder a responsibility in preserving the environment by not throwing the empty bottles, chocolate, biscuits and candy covers/wrapper while trekking and hiking through the unspoiled nature environment. Kindly put the wrapper in your bag or pocket and get rid of it on arrival at your campsite or destination.
- The Bhutanese people is highly dependent on its natural environment, therefore, if you are a smoker be extremely careful while throwing your cigarette butts as it is one of main careless cause of unintended forest fire.
- The nature environment is the source of all life. While you are on an adventure journey through some of the beautiful forest of flowers and trees, we strongly discourage scribbling on trees; uproot plants, picking up the flowers etc. Let the beauty of the nature shine as it is.
- To support conservation of the nature environment, care has to be taken while going on for wilderness camping and trekking. Make sure to use the toilet facilities away from the river or water source; Properly bury the degradable waste such as food, unlined cartons etc. and carry non-degradable waste such as plastic, empty bottles etc. and dump in the disposable facilities available en route or get rid of it later.
- Always make sure, while camping and trekking – using streams and lakes for bathing and cleaning the utensils, we strongly recommend minimizing the use of soaps with strong detergents from polluting the water.
- Get the clear instruction of does and don’t from you local guide regarding appropriate conduct while visiting the local parks, and environments
- Always try to avoid damaging the local flora and fauna while you visit the pristine areas. Make sure while driving encourage yourself and your fellow friends to bear the speed limit, strict your driving on established paths.
- While visiting the zoos and animal parks, kindly maintain distance from the habitat animals of the areas
- Make sure to read the instruction and sign boards before entering the animal preserved center like mini-zoo in Thimphu and Black-necked Crane preserved center in Phobjikha valley
- Bright colored dress while hiking through Phobjikha valley during winter is strictly avoided because it distracts the crane.
- Do not use camera flash while taking close photography of the surrounding habitat animals and birds. If possible consider getting a long range lens for your camera
- Do not be tempted to purchase animal products like skin, teeth, and bones. It is illegal in Bhutan
- Avoid eating wild animal meats found in the local area and at restaurant menu. It will result in devastating impacts on local animal’s populations.
More than word of mouth, Wild Mountain Adventure is strictly committed in maintaining the integrity, value and ideology of the country. We have incorporated our business model with principles sustainable development and responsible manner to further secure the rich natural environment of the country. We are constantly working towards protecting the rich natural environment and using its resource in an efficient, fair and responsible way. Wild Mountain Adventure has recognized that the climate change is one of the factor and most urgent problems facing our environment today. The tourism industry in Bhutan is both impacted by climate change and tourism industry is one of the sectors that is a growing contributor to this problem of climate change. As a recognized tour and travel company in Bhutan, which caters and promotes holiday package to Bhutan, we have seen this as a urgent responsibility to ensure that the negative impact we have on global warming, Wild Mountain Adventure works towards sustaining our rich environment.
Our Bhutan Trips are Carbon Offset – To minimize the carbon emissions we consider designing our tour by following the below mentioned points.
We kindly encourage our visitors that bring along a positive attitude and an open mind while visiting Bhutan. Wild Mountain Adventure’s tours are designed in a way to let you get under the skin of a destination, so to make you receive an authentic experience while you are here in Bhutan. Generally, we provide you with locally owned and operated services to make our visitors enjoy meeting and interacting with local people and are willing to occasionally encounter basic infrastructure and facilities to experience the pathless travel, whereby using locally owned services you are supporting the local people.
We used properly checked transportation services so to reduce fuel usage per passenger. Before the vehicles goes on tour, the vehicle’s emission system were properly checked along with inflated tires, so to help save fuel. We clearly instruct our driver regarding accelerating smoothly and maintaining a steady speed so to offer significant environmental advantages that contribute to a better quality of life. More over it helps reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gases and other pollutions.
We strongly encourage our visitors to include and eat locally produced foods and goods. This help benefits the local sustainable farmers. Additionally, eating locally encourages the use of local farmland for farming, encourages farmers to practice sustainable farming and preserve the soil from using chemicals. Moreover, we encourage our visitors to try eating the fresh food grown close to the hotel, resort, nearby village, or home to help prevent global warming because it required less fuel to transport, reduce generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Plastic bottles generate an enormous amount of waste that is ending up in landfill or even worse in our environment. Therefore, we encourage our clients to refill a water bottle in the morning or evening to help conserve virgin resources and protect our pristine environment and to avoid unnecessary purchasing of bottle water and the subsequent waste disposal issue. Additionally, it helps reduce less fuel consumptions. So start refilling your water bottle today.
Income from tourism can help improve and develop local infrastructure such as airport, roads, education, health services, water supply and sanitation, and retail area has the potential to benefits the local community. Tourism industries can help provide job opportunity to the community, such as tour guides, driver and hotel housekeeping.