The Constitution codifies Bhutanese culture in legal terms. The State must endeavour to preserve, protect and promote the cultural heritage of the country, including monuments, places and objects of artistic or historic interest, Dzongs (fortresses), Lhakhangs (monasteries), Goendeys (monastic communities), Ten-sum (sacred images, scriptures, and stupas), Nyes (sacred pilgrimage sites), language, literature, music, visual arts and religion to enrich society and the cultural life of the citizens. It must also recognize culture as an evolving dynamic force and endeavour to strengthen and facilitate the continued evolution of traditional values and institutions that are sustainable as a progressive society. The State must conserve and encourage research on "local" arts, custom, knowledge and culture.The Constitution allows Parliament to enact any such legislation as may be necessary to advance the cause of the cultural enrichment of Bhutanese society.
Satellite image of Bhutan in April 2002
Article 5 pertains to the environment. The Constitution states that every Bhutanese is a trustee of the Kingdom's natural resources and environment for the benefit of the present and future generations and declares it the fundamental duty of every citizen to contribute to protection, conservation, and prevention of all forms of ecological degradation including noise, visual and physical pollution. This Article mandates the adoption and support of environment friendly practices and policies. The Government itself pledges to protect, conserve and improve the pristine environment and safeguard the biodiversity of the country; prevent pollution and ecological degradation; secure ecologically balanced sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development; and ensure a safe and healthy environment. To this end, it promises that a minimum of 60 percent of Bhutan's total land shall be maintained as forest for all time. Parliament may enact environmental legislation to ensure sustainable use of natural resources, maintain intergenerational equity, and reaffirm the sovereign rights of the State over its own biological resources. Parliament may also 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.