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**History and Political Development**:
– Bhutan’s early inhabitation dates back to 2000 BC, with the state of Lhomon or Monyul possibly existing between 500 BC and AD 600.
– Buddhism was introduced to Bhutan in the 7th century AD by Tibetan king Songtsän Gampo.
– The Drukpa Lineage ascended in the 16th century, influencing Bhutan’s political and religious history.
– Bhutan transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, establishing a parliamentary government in 2008.
– King Jigme Singye Wangchuck delegated administrative powers and a new constitution was introduced in 2005.

**Geography and Biodiversity**:
– Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia, situated in the Eastern Himalayas between China and India.
– The country has peaks higher than 7,000 meters above sea level and diverse wildlife like the Himalayan takin and golden langur.
– Bhutan is the most mountainous country globally, with varying elevations from 200m to over 7,000m.
– It has over 5,400 plant species, rich primate life, and endangered species like the snow leopard and red panda.
– Bhutan signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity and is known for its proactive conservation initiatives.

**Economy and International Relations**:
– Bhutan has significant hydropower reserves and focuses on sustainable development and environmental conservation.
– The country ranked first in SAARC for economic freedom, ease of doing business, peace, and lack of corruption in 2016.
– Bhutan expanded relations with 55 countries and is a member of various international organizations like SAARC and the United Nations.
– It signed treaties with India, joined the UN in 1971, and ranked third in South Asia in the Human Development Index in 2020.
– Bhutan’s economy, international relations, and commitment to sustainable development are key aspects of its governance.

**Cultural Policies and Modernization**:
– Bhutan introduced cultural reforms like the Driglam Namzhag dress code and modernization efforts for the Dzongkha language.
– Policies included discontinuing the teaching of the Nepali language, conducting a census to address immigration concerns, and managing protests in southern Bhutan.
– The country faced challenges with the eviction of Lhotshampas, leading to resettlement by Western countries since 2008.
– Bhutan’s historical conflicts, treaties, and cultural policies have shaped its modernization efforts and political landscape.
– The government’s handling of cultural diversity and resettlement issues reflects its approach to social and political reforms.

**Environmental Conservation and Challenges**:
– Bhutan has over 60% forest cover and designated national parks, reserves, and protected areas covering more than 40% of its territory.
– The country is recognized for its commitment to biodiversity conservation and has received international acclaim for its efforts.
– Bhutan’s forests act as a carbon sink, absorbing over four million tons of carbon dioxide annually, leading to net negative greenhouse gas emissions.
– Challenges include human-wildlife conflicts due to protected wildlife encroaching on populated areas and issues regulating the exploitation of natural resources.
– Bhutan has implemented progressive environmental policies, including a plastic ban, to address conservation challenges and promote sustainable practices.

Bhutan (Wikipedia)

Bhutan (/bˈtɑːn/ boo-TAHN; Dzongkha: འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, romanizedDruk Yul [ʈuk̚˩.yː˩]), officially the Kingdom of Bhutan (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, romanizedDruk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in South Asia situated in the Eastern Himalayas between China in the north and India in the south. With a population of over 727,145 and a territory of 38,394 square kilometres (14,824 sq mi), Bhutan ranks 133rd in land area and 160th in population. Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy with a king (Druk Gyalpo) as the head of state and a prime minister as the head of government. Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion and the Je Khenpo is the head of the state religion.

Kingdom of Bhutan
འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ (Dzongkha)
Druk Gyal Khap
Anthem: འབྲུག་ཙན་དན་
Druk Tsenden
"The Thunder Dragon Kingdom"
and largest city
27°28.0′N 89°38.5′E / 27.4667°N 89.6417°E / 27.4667; 89.6417
Official languagesDzongkha
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Tshering Tobgay
National Council
National Assembly
• Unification of Bhutan
• Period of Desi administration
• Start of the Wangchuck dynasty
17 December 1907
8 August 1949
21 September 1971
18 July 2008
• Total
38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi) (133rd)
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
777,486 (165th)
• 2022 census
• Density
19.3/km2 (50.0/sq mi) (162nd)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $10.969 billion (166th)
• Per capita
Increase $14,296 (95th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $2.686 billion (178th)
• Per capita
Increase $3,500 (124th)
Gini (2022)Positive decrease 28.5
HDI (2021)Decrease 0.666
medium (127th)
CurrencyNgultrum (BTN)
Indian rupee (₹) (INR)
Time zoneUTC+06 (BTT)
Date formatYYYY-MM-DD
Driving sideleft
Calling code+975
ISO 3166 codeBT
  1. The population of Bhutan had been estimated based on the reported figure of about 1 million in the 1970s when the country had joined the United Nations and precise statistics were lacking. Thus, using the annual increase rate of 2–3%, the most population estimates were around 2 million in 2000. A national census was carried out in 2005 and it turned out that the population was 672,425. Consequently, United Nations Population Division reduced its estimation of the country's population in the 2006 revision for the whole period from 1950 to 2000.

The subalpine Himalayan mountains in the north rise from the country's lush subtropical plains in the south. In the Bhutanese Himalayas, there are peaks higher than 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) above sea level. Gangkhar Puensum is Bhutan's highest peak and is the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. The wildlife of Bhutan is notable for its diversity, including the Himalayan takin and golden langur. The capital and largest city is Thimphu, holding close to 15% of the population.

Bhutan and neighbouring Tibet experienced the spread of Buddhism, which originated in the Indian subcontinent during the lifetime of Gautama Buddha. In the first millennium, the Vajrayana school of Buddhism spread to Bhutan from the southern Pala Empire of Bengal. During the 16th century, Ngawang Namgyal unified the valleys of Bhutan into a single state. Namgyal defeated three Tibetan invasions, subjugated rival religious schools, codified the Tsa Yig legal system, and established a government of theocratic and civil administrators. Namgyal became the first Zhabdrung Rinpoche and his successors acted as the spiritual leaders of Bhutan, like the Dalai Lama in Tibet. During the 17th century, Bhutan controlled large parts of northeast India, Sikkim and Nepal; it also wielded significant influence in Cooch Behar State. Bhutan ceded the Bengal Duars to British India during the Bhutan War in the 19th century. The House of Wangchuck emerged as the monarchy and pursued closer ties with Britain in the subcontinent. In 1910, a treaty guaranteed British advice in foreign policy in exchange for internal autonomy in Bhutan. The arrangement continued under a new treaty with India in 1949 (signed at Darjeeling) in which both countries recognised each other's sovereignty. Bhutan joined the United Nations in 1971. It has since expanded relations with 55 countries. While dependent on the Indian military, Bhutan maintains its own military units.

The 2008 Constitution established a parliamentary government with an elected National Assembly and a National Council. Bhutan is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). In 2020, Bhutan ranked third in South Asia after Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the Human Development Index, and nineteenth on the Global Peace Index as the most peaceful country in South Asia as of 2023, as well as the only South Asian country in the list's first quartile. Bhutan is also a member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, the Non-Aligned Movement, BIMSTEC, the IMF, the World Bank, UNESCO and the World Health Organization (WHO). Bhutan ranked first in SAARC in economic freedom, ease of doing business, peace and lack of corruption in 2016. Bhutan has one of the largest water reserves for hydropower in the world. Melting glaciers caused by climate change are a growing concern in Bhutan.

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