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'Gross National Happiness' from Bhutan, the organic nation

A story that lightens the heart is good news this Friday and it comes from The Guardian in a report that describes Bhutan as becoming an all-organic nation. One term used in the report is “Gross National Happiness.” Let’s run with that. This analyst isn’t claiming that the small nation sandwiched in the Himalaya mountains near India, Nepal, and China is a perfect one. It is a constitutional monarchy, and largely Buddhist and Hindu when it comes to religion. The nation has given chemical fertilizers and pesticides the boot. Let The Guardian tell that story, while this column focuses on the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). What can it mean?

Bhutan is striving for Gross National Happiness
Bhutan is striving for Gross National Happiness
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His majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (L), 31, smiles at his bride during the purification marriage ceremony to Queen Jetsun Pema, 21, in the historical Punakha Dzong on October 13, 2011 in Punakha, Bhutan
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1. A nation is happy when its citizens are self-reliant and self-sustainable, as is the collective nation.

2. A nation is happy when citizens are secure, and have no fear from its neighbors.

3. A nation is happy when its water and air is clean and free from pollution.

4. A nation is happy when citizens are healthy.

5. A nation is happy when citizens have individual freedom and liberty, and people are tolerant of one another.

6. A nation is happy when men and women are treated equally with respect as are elders and children.

One thing about Bhutan and its people is that they are outdoors people. The nation is giving proper value to agriculture as a cornerstone for economic well being, and they are accomplishing that organically.

“Bhutan could be world's first wholly organic nation within a decade

Political parties in the Himalayan kingdom unite to eradicate chemical fertilisers and pesticides as part of its Gross National Happiness programme

Jo Confino in Bhutan
Guardian Professional, Monday 12 May 2014 09.56 EDT

Bhutan could within a decade become the first country in the world to go wholly organic in its food production, according to key politicians in the Himalayan kingdom.
Agriculture and forests minister Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji and opposition leader Pema Gyamtsho, who held the post in the previous government, say there is a united commitment to rid the country of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

While no formal timeframe has been put in place, both politicians believe that the goal is within sight as long as practical natural solutions can be found to the pest and disease problems still affecting a few crops. In order to speed up the search for these answers, Bhutan recently brought together experts on organic agriculture from across the world.”

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