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Archive for the ‘Sustainable Development’

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.


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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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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U.N. Happiness Conference in NYC April 02, 2012: Agenda

April 02, 2012 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Gross National Happiness, News, Sustainable Development, Tourism & Bhutan



Hosted by the Royal Government of Bhutan, 2nd April 2012, Conference Room 1 (North Lawn Building), United Nations Headquarters, New York City


Saturday, 31st March & Sunday, 1st April 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Registration at the Permanent Mission of Bhutan, 343 East 43rd Street, New York

Monday, 2nd April 8 – 8.40 a.m. – Security Check at the UN Visitor’s Gate (First Avenue, 45 – 46 Street) and

Registration 8 – 8.40 a.m. – Registration at Conference Room 1 for delegates of Member States

8.50 a.m. – All participants to be seated in Conference Room 1

9 –10.00 a.m. – Inaugural Session Chair: H.E. Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme and the Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

9.00 – 9.03 a.m. – Welcome address by H.E. Helen Clark                                                                                                                                       9.03 – 9.09 a.m. – Address by H.E. Mr. Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan (On the mission and purpose of the meeting) 9.09 – 9.12 a.m. – Inaugural address by H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations                                         9.12 – 9.15 a.m. – Address by H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly 9.15 – 9.18 a.m. – Address by H.E. Mr. Miloš Koterec, President of the Economic and Social Council                                                   9.18 – 9.28 a.m. – Keynote address by H.E. Ms. Laura Chinchilla, Honourable President of the Republic of Costa Rica (The Republic of Costa Rica is universally recognised for its outstanding achievements in environmental conservation and its exemplary sustainable development record) …For more refer

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Bhutan to host the U.N. Happiness Conference April 2-5, 2012 in NYC

April 01, 2012 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Gross National Happiness, News, Sustainable Development, Tourism & Bhutan

The U.N. Happiness Project By TIMOTHY W. RYBACK* (NY Times)

March 28, 2012 : Next Monday, the United Nations will implement Resolution 65/309, adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in July 2011, placing “happiness” on the global agenda. “Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal” and “recognizing that the gross domestic product […] does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people,” Resolution 65/309 empowers the Kingdom of Bhutan to convene a high-level meeting on happiness as part of next week’s 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. An impressive array of luminaries will be speaking for this remote Himalayan kingdom. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will open the meeting via a prerecorded video missive. The Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz will speak on “happiness indicators,” as will the economist Jeffrey Sachs. The Bhutanese prime minister will represent King Jigme Khesar Namgyel, the reigning Dragon King of the Bhutanese House of Wangchuck. (The kingdom became a constitutional monarchy in 2007.) For the 32-year-old Dragon King — Bhutan means “land of dragons” in the local Dzongkha language — U.N. Resolution 65/309 represents a global public relations triumph and the realization of a hereditary ambition, initiated by his grandfather 40 years ago, to establish Gross National Happiness (G.N.H.) as an alternate model to Gross National Product (G.N.P.) as a measure of national progress. (more…)

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Getting Smart on Aid

May 19, 2011 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: NY Times Nicholas Kristof, Sustainable Development

May 18, 2011 By 

One cost of the uproar over Greg Mortenson, and the allegations that he fictionalized his school-building story in the best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea,” is likely to be cynicism about whether aid makes a difference.

But there are also deeper questions about how best to make an impact — even about how to do something as simple as get more kids in school. Mortenson and a number of other education organizations mostly build schools. That seems pretty straightforward. If we want to get more kids in school around the world, what could make more sense than building schools?

How about deworming kids?

But, first, a digression: a paean to economists.

When I was in college, I majored in political science. But if I were going through college today, I’d major in economics. It possesses a rigor that other fields in the social sciences don’t — and often greater relevance as well. That’s why economists are shaping national debates about everything from health care to poverty, while political scientists often seem increasingly theoretical and irrelevant. (more…)

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