Bhutan Pacific Travel & Tours

Gross National Happiness

The concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) in Bhutan is an important issue which is a unifying vision for Bhutan's Five Year Planning and Development plans of the country. The Four pillars of GNH are the promotion of Sustainable Development, Preservation and Promotion of Cultural values, Conservation of the Natural Environment and establishment of Good Governance. In terms of quantitative definitions to GNH it is hard to define it but elements that contribute to GNH are subject to quantitative measurement. GNH is mainly for the well-being and happiness of the people resulting in the happiness of the country. The main reasons for being Bhutan a peaceful country is proudly because of its culture, Tradition and People

His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk during his coronation clearly mentioned "We must always remenber that as our country in these changing times find immense new challenges and opportunities, whatever work we do, whatever goals we have and no matter how these may change in this changing world - ultimately without peace, security and happiness we have nothing. That is the essence of the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. Our most important goal is the peace and happiness of our people and the security and soverignty of the country."

Today it is widely acknowledged that the human economy cannot keep growing at the cost of its habitat. Because of low production systems and consumption patterns, even after two decades of expanding environmental regulation there will still be chances of losing the race to save the planet. The pressure for ever higher Gross National Product (GNP) is merely one manifestation of this.For a country like Bhutan, it is essential that development achieves a sustainable balance between the four pillars and needs of the people. Government of Bhutan has kept an eye over development of GNH as a continuous process towards maintaining balance between the material and the intangible needs of individuals and society.

Acquiring Gross National Happiness also requires the study of the Country that requires Economists' and Psychologists' and the field of study is called the "The Economy of Happiness". GNH in Bhutan was first started by His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuk in 1972 who led Bhutan to modernization when he got his enthronement. He started this as he wanted to build an economy that would serve Bhutan's unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. The Bhutanese grounding in Buddhist ideals suggests that development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur along side to complement and reinforce each other.