Bhutan: Building a participatory 3-dimension model of Paro Valley


28 May–8 June 2013

At the request of the Honourable Dr Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan, two staff members from ICIMOD, Govinda Joshi and Gauri Dangol, visited Bhutan from 28 May to 8 June 2013 to build a Participatory 3-Dimensional Model (P3-DM) of Paro Valley. As part of this process, a workshop was jointly organized by ICIMOD and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan, at the premises of the Paro Dzong for 20 students, engineers, and volunteers.

ICIMOD has been promoting P3-DMs as a tool for understanding the geographical dimensions of mountain landscapes in terms of use of natural resources and management of watersheds and rangelands and for local-level planning, tourism, and biodiversity conservation. ICIMOD has helped partners in various parts of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region to build P3-DMs. The Paro Valley model is second P3-DM built in Bhutan, the first was built in 2011 of the Chamkhar Valley in Bumthang.

The completed model was handed over to Paro Dzongkhag Administration at a 8 June 2013 chaired by Dasho Dzongda (Governor) of Paro Dzongkhang. The Dasho Dzongda said that “this multipurpose model is very useful and needs to be replicated in other dzongkangs [districts]”. He expressed his appreciation and thanked ICIMOD for its cooperation and support.



Paro Valley 

Size of model:

8’-00” x 8’-00” 

Ground coverage:

18.3 km x 18.3 km (approx 334.5 sq km)  

Horizontal scale:


Vertical ratio:


Maximum height:

4,200 m 

Minimum height:

2,200 m 

Height difference:

2,000 m