Sunday, November 11, 2007

World Bank cites Bhutan as a leader in “Gross National Happiness”

Source: World Bank calls for more national happiness

The World Bank is of the opinion that other countries have much to learn from Bhutan, and should follow its lead as a proponent of “Gross National Happiness.” Gross National Happiness is a guiding policy for the country, giving primary importance to the happiness of its citizenry rather than to Gross National Product. The policy has been in place since 1972, when the former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck put it into practice. Bhutan’s policy holds the position that GNH is a better measure of a country’s wellbeing than GNP, and is guided by the idea that people are bound by their natures to search for happiness.

The World Bank acknowledges that Bhutan has been putting this seemingly unorthodox policy into practice on the ground in an effective way; a recent study found that 68% of the country’s 700,000 people were reportedly happy with their life. Additionally, Bhutan has been a leader in addressing global warming issues. Particularly, the country’s practices regarding forestry and how the constitution protects land use for forestry has done much to address climate change issues in the region.

Question: How different is Bhutan’s policy from that of liberal capitalism?

No comments: