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How The Tiny, Poor Country Of Bhutan Became One Of The Most Sustainable Countries On Earth

March 14, 2016 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Culture, Environment, Gross National Happiness, Inspiration, News, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Travel, Tourism & Bhutan

The country knows it needs to develop, but it’s making sure the development doesn’t come at the expense of its natural resources.

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Photo: Flickr user sprklg

That’s the first thing that Tshering Tobgay, the charismatic prime minister of the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan, wants you to know about his homeland.

People are forgiven for thinking otherwise. For its beautiful forests and mountains and ancient Buddhist architecture, Bhutan—a poor, isolated country sandwiched between India and China that famously measures Gross National Happiness as its main economic indicator—has been called the last Shangri-la. But the prime minister knows that perception works against Bhutan’s efforts to develop economically along a truly sustainable path that has eluded many other equally beautiful nations. In Bhutan, many people still live in poverty, youth unemployment is rising, and pressures on forests are increasing. Its total GDP, $2 billion, is half that of Springfield, Ohio. (more…)

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This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative

March 12, 2016 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Environment, Gross National Happiness, Inspiration, News

Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country’s mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation.

Source/courtesy: ted.com

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Big lessons on climate change from a small country

February 15, 2016 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Agriculture, Environment, News, Rural Development

Landscape of terrace fields and homes in Bhutan. Credits: Curt Carnemark / World Bank

Landscape of terrace fields and homes in Bhutan. Credits: Curt Carnemark / World Bank

The mountain kingdom of Bhutan may not seem an obvious place to look for lessons on addressing climate change. But on a recent visit I was impressed with how much this small country has achieved and also with its ambition. Bhutan has much to teach South Asia and the wider world. These lessons are especially relevant as the world negotiates in Paris a new pact on climate change at the International Climate Change Summit, known as COP21, which we all hope will eventually move the global economy to a low carbon and more resilient path. (more…)

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Bhutan rejoices over birth of crown prince

February 15, 2016 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Bhutan Visa, Gross National Happiness, monarch, News

The King and Queen of Bhutan have released the first official picture of their baby son who was born last Friday.

In an image posted to Facebook, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 35, and Queen Jetsun Pema, 25, can be seen gazing adoringly at the new arrival who is swaddled in a vibrant yellow blanket as they sit in the grounds of Lingkana Palace in the Bhtanese capital Thimphu.

But it was the King’s father, who is known as His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, who was given the honour of holding the new baby as he was officially introduced to the world.

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King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 35, (left) and Queen Jetsun Pema, 25, of Bhutan gaze adoringly at their newborn son in the grounds of Lingkana Palace in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu. The baby’s grandfather, the former King of Bhutan (centre) was given the honour of holding the baby whose name has not yet been revealed

The former King of Bhutan cradled the baby – whose name has not yet been announced – in the crook of his right arm, while placing an affectionate hand around his daughter-in-law’s shoulder. (more…)

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William and Kate to visit Bhutan in spring, Palace says

February 15, 2016 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Bhutan Guest, Bhutan Visa, Gross National Happiness, monarch, News

  • This will be the first time the royal couple have visited Bhutan
  • Country nestles high in the Himalayas between India and China
  • Kate and William, both 33, will visit King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
  • His pregnant wife Jetsun Pema, 25, is due to give birth in Spring
  • Bhutan is a Buddhist country that measures wealth on happiness
  • Prince Charles and Prince Andrew have both visited country previously

She is known as the Dragon Queen and the most glamorous woman in the Orient.

He has been dubbed The Prince Charming of the Himalayas, a ruler with the populist touch who is known to invite his subjects into his home for tea and a chat.

And this spring the young King and Queen of Bhutan, dubbed the ‘William and Kate of the Orient’, will host the real Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on an official visit on behalf of the British Government.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be leaving their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at home later this year as they make an official visit to Bhutan and India this spring

The hugely-anticipated visit will coincide with the couple’s previously announced tour of India and is likely to take place in April. (more…)

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