DR Ambedkar IAS Academy

Bhutan demarches China on its claim to Sakteng Sanctuary

Bhutan’s foreign ministry has issued a demarche to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi for the claims made by Beijing over Sakteng Wildlife sanctuary, situated in eastern Bhutan.

What’s the issue?

Bhutan’s western and middle sector have been in dispute with China (Jakarlung, Pasamlung and Chumbi Valley). However, the eastern sector has not been part of the boundary talks and China had not claimed rights over Sakteng wildlife sanctuary earlier.

  • The recent claim was made at the 58th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council where China tried to “oppose” funding to a project for the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary situated in Bhutan saying that it was “disputed” territory.

While Thimphu and Beijing do not have formal diplomatic relations, the two sides have been in talks to resolve the border issues between the two countries and demarcate the boundary.

Where is Sakteng wildlife sanctuary?

Sakteng is based in Eastern Bhutan, or Trashigang Dzongkhag (district) that borders Arunachal Pradesh.

  • It protects several endemic speciesincluding the eastern blue pine and the black-rumped magpie.
  • It was created in part to protect the migoi, a  yeti-like cryptid whose existence has not been scientifically confirmed, but in which the local population strongly believes.

About GEF:

Established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.

It is an international partnership of countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.

GEF funds are available to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements.

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