Bhutan is famously known for announcing its plan to become the world’s first 100 percent organic nation. Now, even though Denmark officially took the lead in trying to accomplish that goal, the small Himalayan country has impressed the whole world yet again.
Bhutan officially became carbon-negative, which means that its forests absorb more carbon than the country emits.
“According to recent figures, the country emits around 1.5 million tons of carbon annually, while its forests absorb over 6 million tons,” Proudly Carbon Neutral said.
The nation believes that their happiness is closely linked to nature, and that one without the other will fail. As a reflection of this belief, high schools tell this to their students:
“Preserve our natural rich heritage, do not pollute the surroundings. Remember, nature is the source of all happiness.”
While other countries measure their success based on Gross Domestic Product, Bhutan refuses to do so and instead keeps track of Gross National Happiness – an index which measures prosperity by giving equal importance to non-economic aspects of well-being.
“Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness index gives the natural world a central place in the making of public policy, and environmental protection is a core guiding principle in Bhutan’s constitution,” the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.
In fact, Bhutan is constitutionally bound to protect the environment – no less than 60 percent of their land shall remain forested. Today, 72 percent of the nation is under forest cover.
Earlier this year, as a way to celebrate the birth of the first child of King Khesar and Queen Jetson, Bhutanese people planted a total of 108,000 trees in just one day. They also hold the world record for planting 49,672 trees in just one hour!
But it doesn’t stop there. The nation is also aiming for zero net greenhouse emissions, zero-waste by 2030, and growing 100 percent organic food by 2020. They also partnered with Nissan in order to provide hundreds of electric vehicles to the country – with the ultimate goal to convert all vehicles to electric power.
According to the Bhutanese Prime Minister, the country has a good reason to continue to fight for good environmental practices because they are adversely affected by climate change.
“My country and my people have done nothing to contribute to global warming, but we are already bearing the brunt of its consequences,” said Tshering Tobgay, the Bhutanese Prime Minister.
Climate change has caused most of the glaciers to melt at a rapid pace, which has created lakes that overrun the dams and cause flash floods. Bhutan has about 2,700 of these lakes to deal with, all because other countries in the world are unwilling to face the facts and make changes.
Don’t you think that Bhutan should be an example for other countries?