Sustainable Bhutan

Hello everybody!

This evening as I was browsing Facebook after a huge portion of pasta, I came across some astounding news. Sustainable Man posted this article which says that Bhutan is set to go 100% organic!

I must confess I didn’t even know what Bhutan was until now, but a quick research session informs me its a small Asian country nestled between India, Bangladesh and Tibet. Here’s a handy map.


So anyway, their Prime Minister, Jigmi Thinley, has announced their new National Organic Policy. This means GM, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic agrochemicals will be banned within the country, leading the way for 100% organic agriculture. Apparently it’s not a very long jump for them because a large proportion of their farms have never stopped using natural and traditional methods, but they wanted to make a political point.

I’m so happy about this, and it’s the fourth piece of good news I’ve had on the sustainability front in the last week! Things are looking up guys! As if this isn’t cause for jubilation enough, Greenpeace have uncovered some other sustainability gems about this little nation:

  • It’s carbon neutral
  • It’s food-secure
  • It guarantees water and energy supply to over 95% of it’s population
  • It uses Gross National Happiness instead of Gross Domestic Product

I know the third point could be taken for granted in a rich developed nation, but I put it up there to show that people are not being denied use of resources in the name of the environment. In fact there seems to be a high level of civil wellbeing within this forward thinking country.

I’m literally so impressed.

It seems to me that Bhutan is an international leader in sustainability!
I implore my own political leaders to take note and emulate Jigmi’s positive leadership.


7 thoughts on “Sustainable Bhutan

  1. I had heard about Bhutan because of their Gross Happiness. I have believed that is the way to measure how a country is doing and so wish other countries would look into this more. Of course it might be easier to measure in such a small country.

    • Yeaah, I’m really interested in their Gross Happiness measure and am going to look further into it! I wonder if it’s related to the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index….

      • I’m not sure, but it could be something the New Economic Foundation based their program on. There is a DVD available which tells the story of Bhutan’s Happiness Measure. I have this DVD called Economics of Happiness. If you can’t find it free to view let me know and if you are comfortable enough contact me directly and I will send it to you.

  2. Have you read Linda Leaming’s book “Married to Bhutan?” It is beyond wonderful! She’s an American who was doing some traveling in the area, and sort of on a whim decided to spend a few weeks in Bhutan. She totally fell in love with the country and ended up living there, marrying a Bhutanese man and adopting a child. I can’t recommend here book highly enough. You can check out her blog here:


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