Pinched between India and China, two of the most polluted and populous countries in the world, Bhutan is an anomaly: Tiny (in size and population), carbon-neutral, and committed to conservation, mandating that 60 percent of its forests remain protected.
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.
The mountain kingdom of Bhutan may not seem an obvious place to look for lessons on addressing climate change. But Bhutan has much to teach South Asia and the wider world.
The small Himalayan country where success is measured by Gross National Happiness (instead of Gross Domestic Product) has also set its own high standards for greenhouse gas emissions and reforestation.
The Gross National Happiness Commission has to align local development plan with hydropower development plans.
Bhutan stands at interesting crossroads today. While it has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and prepares to forge ahead with a list of new development agendas called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as ‘Global Goals’ that it needs to achieve by 2030, it is in dire need of reliable and vital statistics to craft specific development plans.
People in Bhutan are getting happier as living standards improve, but social isolation is increasing in the remote kingdom that famously prioritises "gross national happiness" over wealth, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said
Getting off from her flight in Kolkata after her five day visit in Bhutan the West Bengal Chief Minister described her visit as ‘historic’ to the waiting Indian press saying it would bring the two countries as well as Bhutan and West Bengal closer together.
Today we are seeing three mega hydropower projects underway with mega attention from public eye and critics thereof. And recently we have been noticing appetite from lawmakers to review the Electricity Act-2001 and the Hydropower Policy-2008. Thus the Hydropower sector clearly stands in the limelight at present.
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