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  • Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan1, 2008

Article 5 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008, is dedicated exclusively to environmental issues.

“Article 5 Environment

1. Every Bhutanese is a trustee of the Kingdom’s natural resources and environment for the benefit of the present and future generations and it is the fundamental duty of every citizen to contribute to the protection of the natural environment, conservation of the rich biodiversity of Bhutan and prevention of all forms of ecological degradation including noise, visual and physical pollution through the adoption and support of environment friendly practices and policies.

2. The Royal Government shall:
(a) Protect, conserve and improve the pristine environment and safeguard the biodiversity of the country;
(b) Prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
(c) Secure ecologically balanced sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development; and
(d) Ensure a safe and healthy environment.

3. The Government shall ensure that, in order to conserve the country’s natural resources and to prevent degradation of the ecosystem, a minimum of sixty percent of Bhutan’s total land shall be maintained under forest cover for all time.

4. Parliament may enact environmental legislation to ensure
Sustainable use of the natural resources and maintain intergenerational equity and reaffirm the sovereign rights of the State over its own biological resources.

5. Parliament may, by law, declare any part of the country to be a National Park, Wildlife Reserve, Nature Reserve, Protected Forest, Biosphere Reserve, Critical Watershed and such other categories meriting protection”.

The National Environment Protection Act of Bhutan, 2007, “provides for the sustainable use of natural resources, economic development and environmental conservation” and states as a “Fundamental Right and duty” that “a person has the fundamental right to a safe and healthy environment with equal and corresponding duty to protect and promote the environmental wellbeing of the country”.
The 6th Article of the Act states the Inter-generational equity as following: “the present generation must ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations”.

1. The Constitution of Bhutan is available at www.constitution.bt.