GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS AND ENVIRONMENTAL STATUS IN BHUTAN

Authors


  • I wish to thank Paul Karan for sharing his insights and early research findings about Bhutan and for providing the 1964 photographs in this study. For research assistance in Bhutan, thanks are due Chencho Tshering, Karma Dorji, Tshering Dorji, Sharab Dorji, and Dawa Zangpo. I am grateful to the University Research Committee, Eastern Kentucky University for providing travel funds. Julsun Pacheco produced the maps with technical assistance provided by the Geographical Studies and Research Center, Eastern Kentucky University.

Abstract

ABSTRACT. The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is in the midst of transformation as it moves from an isolated past to a modern nation-state and participant in the global community. Its development path embraces the concept of “Gross National Happiness,” a philosophy and policy instrument that seeks to promote human development and manage environmental conservation within a sustainable strategy guided by Buddhist ethics. After examining Bhutan's approach to development and the governance and environmental policies stemming from it, this essay assesses its impacts on environmental conditions in the country.

Ancillary