Washington: Bhutan is a global role model on issues like climate change and environmental conversation as the country absorbs three times more carbon dioxide than it emits, the US has said.
Bhutan is investing in clean energy and its constitution requires the country to maintain at least 60 per cent forest cover and it now boasts 72 per cent coverage, Indian-American Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on South Asia convened by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"Bhutan is a global role model on issues like climate change and environmental conservation," Biswal said. It actually absorbs three times more carbon dioxide than it emits, making the country carbon negative and it has pledged to remain carbon neutral in perpetuity, she said.
"Despite its small size, Bhutan also contributes to global peacekeeping operations, with a small number of personnel that serve in eight different UN missions worldwide - and it looks to expand its contributions further," Biswal said.
While the latest State Department's annual budget does not request any bilateral funds for Bhutan, Biswal said the US Government will continue to strengthen its educational and cultural ties and support Bhutan's participation in international and regional forums.
"We will also encourage Congress to lend its support to our efforts to find new avenues of cooperation with Bhutan," Biswal added.