The threats of climate change

Sep 8th, 2011 | By

BhutanToday: The Earth should be respected. Nature cannot be exploited at the rate it is currently being done. Climate change is a realty that should be mitigated. Everyone should know this, especially students, who are the future of the country. These were the messages Excited conveyed through a participatory approach as students of Lungtenzampa Middle

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Report underlines climate threats

Sep 7th, 2011 | By

Bhutan Observer: And advocates green development. While Bhutan is a net carbon sink, it suffers from a human development challenge that is not of its own making. As a result, individuals, households or communities have become vulnerable to climate risks. The human cost of climate shocks and gradual climate change include the increasing risk of

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A 2011 wishlist of eight projects-Bhutan

Sep 6th, 2011 | By

Kuenselonline: Bhutan’s proposals for Japanese assistance include the Maokhola bridge and a GLOF Early Warning System. Sixth Annual Consultation 5 September, 2011 – Bhutan proposed eight projects for grant assistance in survey and technical cooperation from Japan for 2011 during the sixth annual consultation between Bhutan and Japan on September 3 in Thimphu. One of

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Climate change threatens Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness

Sep 5th, 2011 | By

UNDP: Impressive economic and human development gains that contribute to Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness are threatened by changing climate conditions with the country’s poorest people likely to suffer the worst impact, according to the third National Human Development Report released today in Thimphu. Building resilience is key to the livelihoods of the one quarter of

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The Economics of Happiness

Aug 31st, 2011 | By

CNN-Globalpublicsquare: We live in a time of high anxiety. Despite the world’s unprecedented total wealth, there is vast insecurity, unrest, and dissatisfaction. In the United States, a large majority of Americans believe that the country is “on the wrong track.” Pessimism has soared. The same is true in many other places.   Against this backdrop,

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Climate change may ruin Bhutan’s plans: PM

Aug 28th, 2011 | By
Bhutan's king picture

Bhutan Today: The Prime Minister, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley, has issued a dire warning about the impact of Himalayan climate change, saying it could wreck Bhutan’s ambitious plans to be a world leader in hydropower. However, the country is powerless to prevent changes caused by shifting weather patterns that threaten regional water supplies and plans

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Bhutan: Government to go ahead

Aug 25th, 2011 | By

Kuenselonline: Works on the construction of the 67km Shingkhar-Gorgan secondary national highway will begin as soon as the monsoon is over. The cabinet decided this recently, irrespective of conservationists’ sounding alarm bells against such a move on the government’s part. The Bhutan Ecological Society, the Royal Society for Protection of Nature and the World Wildlife

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Happy’ Bhutan alarmed by Himalayan climate change

Aug 24th, 2011 | By

MYsinchew: Bhutan’s prime minister has issued a dire warning about the impact of Himalayan climate change, saying it could wreck the tiny kingdom’s ambitious plans to be a world leader in hydropower. The isolated, mountainous nation sandwiched between India and China is famed for pursuing “happiness” for its citizens instead of orthodox economic growth, with

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PES-Payments for Environment Services in Bhutan (Video)

Aug 24th, 2011 | By


Tap hydropower potential, PM urges Nepal

Aug 14th, 2011 | By

Kuenselonline: In an effort to discourage expansion of nuclear power generation by the government of India, Bhutan is encouraging Nepal to increase exploitation of its hydropower potential, it was revealed at the end of the ‘happiness and economic development’ conference, yesterday (12 Aug). While Nepal has vast hydropower potential, not much of it is tapped.

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The impact of global warming on Bhutanese crops

Aug 13th, 2011 | By

 Last month when Nagphay harvested the first crop of maize from his 38 decimal land, it barely filled a basket.  This year’s dry spell in May and June not just engulfed Nagphay’s crop, but hit the entire eastern district of Pemagatshel, leaving acres and acres of dried and wilted corn stalks, and hundreds of farmers

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24th member of academic consortiuam

Aug 13th, 2011 | By

Kuensel: The Royal University of Bhutan will become the 24th university under the Earth Institute’s consortium of 23 universities, through which Bhutanese graduates will be provided a two-year degree course on sustainable development, such as poverty, population, health, resource optimisation, climate change and rural development. Called the master’s in development practices (MDP), the courses offered

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Youth takes climate-change initiative in their year

Aug 12th, 2011 | By

Bhutantoday: The International Year of Youth proclaimed by the United Nations general assembly from Aug 12 last year will end on Aug 11. The year was marked as an occasion to raise awareness about the situation of young people around the world, integrate youth-related issues into global and regional themes, and increase youth participation in

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Climate Summit for the Himalayas

Aug 11th, 2011 | By

Thimphu: Bangladesh, India, and Nepal have agreed to Bhutan’s proposal to host a Climate Change Summit scheduled for November. The Summit will look into developing and agreeing on a road map for adapting to climate change, especially across the southern face of the eastern Himalayas; highlight the issues of climate change and its impact on the

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Building resilience to climate change through technology

Aug 11th, 2011 | By

BhutanObserver: Bhutan needs to prioritize adaptation and mitigation technologies to fight climate change. This was one of the core issues discussed last week in Thimphu at the inception workshop on Technology Needs Assessment (TNA). TNA is expected to help the country meet its development priorities and maximize its sustainability outcome, especially in reducing   green-house gas

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Hope in the Himalayas: Bhutan’s Conservation Ethic

Aug 10th, 2011 | By

SierraClub:Do you despair that the developing world is starting to consume like we do? That our energy budget is spiralling out of control? Know, then, that Bhutan, the hidden kingdom of the Himalayas, is determined to develop sanely and sustainably. While you wouldn’t want to visit — tourist visas cost hundreds of dollars per day,

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All set for the Bhutan Climate Summit

Aug 6th, 2011 | By

CCAFS: The build up to the Bhutan Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas received unprecedented response last week with the completion of expert group meetings on the key themes of water, biodiversity, food security and energy. The Bhutan Climate Summit is an initiative of the Royal Government of Bhutan, and will bring together leaders, decision

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Agriculture, the biggest ‘culprit’

Aug 1st, 2011 | By

Kuensel Online: Farming has been identified as the highest GHG emitter. Lush green paddy or maize fields on which most Bhutanese depend for livelihood may be a carbon sink, but its contribution to the greenhouse gas emission could far outstrip other sectors. A study, which is being undertaken by the national environment commission (Bhutan), states

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Local government grants for climate adaptation

Jul 29th, 2011 | By

Bhutan Today: The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Royal Government of Bhutan, yesterday, under the global program to support global pilot Local Climate Change Adaptive Living (LoCAL) program in Bhutan. The UNCDF has committed a total of about Nu 27 million for the first year of

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Building local resilience

Jul 27th, 2011 | By

KuenselOnline: Nangkhor and Phobjikha earmarked for pilot project. Zhemgang and Wangdue dzongkhags (Districts in Bhutan) will receive Nu 27M (USD 600,000) from the UN capital development fund (UNCDF) this year for a pilot project to build local resilience or adaptability to the effects of climate change. Of the total fund USD 503,000 will go directly

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Climate Change Hits Mighty Himalayas

Jul 25th, 2011 | By

TheJournalist: WHEN THE four countries, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and including Bhutan, came together for the “Experts’ Group Meeting on Biodiversity” each country presented its own regional issues on the impacts of climate change. The agriculture and forests’ minister, Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho said that a sound biodiversity was crucial for all aspects of human existence. However,

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With Love from Bhutan

Jul 25th, 2011 | By

Bhutanrideforclimate: When Sangay and I were shouldered the prestigious responsibility to lead the group of young bikers for Bhutan Ride for Climate, we shared mixed feelings. I’ve biked all the motorable roads in this mountainous country and the Bhutanese roads are no child’s play. Can the riders make it? How will the weather be, in

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Regional experts meet on biodiversity and climate change

Jul 14th, 2011 | By

Bhutan Govt.: It is a common knowledge that climate change is happening in the Himalayas with the rapid melting of glaciers, erratic and unpredictable weather, changing rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures. In order to build resilience to the impacts of climate change, the need was felt not only to address it at the national level

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An aspiring power, India ill-equipped to meet non-traditional security challenges

Jul 13th, 2011 | By

IBTimes: Even though India, the world’s largest democracy, is an aspiring global power, the country continues to pursue a highly reactive foreign policy, especially when it comes to non-traditional security issues. The absence of a grand strategy or template to meet non-traditional security threats becomes conspicuous whenever the country is confronted with security challenges on

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Sanitation Highlights from Himalaya

Jul 11th, 2011 | By
Sanitation Quest in Himalaya

As part of Climate Himalaya Initiative’s Policy Advocacy efforts on various Climate Change issues,  we  are highlighting the sanitation and pollution embedded scenario across Himalayan region. It includes the garbage coming from a house to one dumped by municipality/ urban local body, and from our various religious practices to tourist influx adding the muck. We

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Bhutan’s Hydropower Challenge

Jul 11th, 2011 | By

TheWorld: The Kingdom of Bhutan is known for breathtaking views of rivers and streams cascading down from snow-packed glaciers high in the Himalayas. Until recently, Bhutanese were content to enjoy the view, use a little water for crops, and a bit more for hydropower, for local use. But lately, Bhutan has been getting more ambitious

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Call for regional adaptation strategy

Jul 7th, 2011 | By

DailyStar: Broader regional collaboration on adaptation and joint meteorological data management and knowledge sharing to plan on water and food security must be achieved for water management in the face of climate change. The recommendations came at the end of a two-day consultative meeting yesterday between water experts of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan. Ministry

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Young Bhutanese and Americans to bike for climate change

Jul 6th, 2011 | By

BhutanBusiness: A group of young Bhutanese and Americans will take a journey to find out what climate change really means from a farmer to a hydropower engineer Around 15 youth from Bhutan and the United States will set out on a biking expedition from Bumthang to Thimphu this month, learning on the way different aspects

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Strengthen Regional Policy Framework to Control and Prevention of Air Pollution Under Malé Declaration

Jul 2nd, 2011 | By

PIB: The twelfth Inter-governmental meeting under Malé Declaration on Prevention and Control of Likely Transboundary Movements of Air Pollution agreed on strengthening the regional policy framework to carry forward control and prevention measures of air pollution. It was felt by the members that the time is ripe to consider enhancing the regional cooperation under the

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Urban partnerships for a sustainable future

Jun 29th, 2011 | By

Hindu: Managing Asia’s urban future was at the heart of discussions at the Fifth Asia-Pacific Urban Forum held in Bangkok recently. Asia’s urban future is one of opportunity. Urbanisation, well-managed, is a chance to put our development paradigm on the right track – on a track that will result in inclusive and sustainable development for

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The Future Doesn’t Hurt. Yet

Jun 28th, 2011 | By

NewYork Times: When, in the early morning, I sit in the little meadow in front of my hermitage on a quiet hilltop, two hours’ drive from Katmandu in Nepal, my eyes take in hundreds of miles of lofty Himalayan peaks glowing in the rising sun. The serenity of the scenery blends naturally and seamlessly with

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India, China to conduct study on climate change

Jun 24th, 2011 | By

Hindustan Times: Controversy over the dam over Brahmaputra notwithstanding, India and China would soon start a joint study of Brahmaputra-Salween and the Kangchenjunga landscapes to find out the impact of climate change on the local habitation, as desired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The environment ministry has sought the external affairs ministry’s approval to spend

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Financial assistance for climate adaptation

Jun 19th, 2011 | By

BhutanToday: Bhutanese agencies who are keen to adopt measures for reducing factors contributing to climate change will receive budgetary support. Known as the Climate Adaptation Finance, the support will come in different packages based on the programs and projects planned for mitigating climate change. At a workshop held last week in Thimphu, world renowned climate

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Inspiring Youth to Understand Climate Change First Hand: JULY 2-15, 2011 Bhutan

Jun 17th, 2011 | By

Blog-BhutanClimateBike: Being a carbon negative country, Bhutan’s forests are doing their fair share of sequestration. Citizen movements such as the Voluntary Artists’ Studio, Thimphu (VAST) are taking on the challenge of reforesting whole mountain sides in Thimphu through the Oak Tree Initiative. Recently, school children from the Bajo school in Wangdue Phodrang district have taken

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Endangered crane population expands in Tibet

Jun 16th, 2011 | By The population of a critically endangered crane has continued to increase in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region thanks to enhanced conservation efforts in recent years, an environmental protection official said Tuesday. Tibet currently has more than 8,000 black-necked cranes, at least 80 percent of the world’s total, said Jampel, deputy chief of the regional

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Survey reveals fresh climate change info

Jun 14th, 2011 | By A survey reveals that the people across the country have observed the impact of climate change but their understanding of climate change is generally poor. Conducted by the National Biodiversity Centre in collaboration with agencies involved in conservation, the survey covered 16 dzongkhags comprising 31 gewogs, 154 villages and 417 households across the country

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Bhutan among 100 places to remember before they disappear

Jun 14th, 2011 | By

Business Bhutan: If ever Bhutan disappears from the face of earth, just in case, it is a chilling consolation that it has made into the 100 places on earth to remember before they disappear. A new book ‘100 places to remember before they disappear’ written by Co+Life also features Bhutan as one of them. The

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Revealed: The Himalayan Meltdown

Jun 10th, 2011 | By

AsiaSociety: Glaciers in Asia are creating an uncertain future across the region.  From Nepal to the Tibetan Plateau, Bhutan to India and the Bay of Bengal, a way of life is under threat.  The climate is changing and life as we know it from the mountains to sea is falling out of balance.  These glaciers

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Bhutan’s modern face

Jun 1st, 2011 | By

Thimphu, the fast-developing capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan, is one of the cities most vulnerable to climate change in the world. But it is unprepared for the crisis, reports Dawa T Wangchuk. Over the past few decades, Thimphu – the capital of Bhutan – has transformed from a beautiful little town into a modern,

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Urban peaks in the Himalayas

May 29th, 2011 | By

Rampant city development in the world’s most ecologically fragile region will have disastrous consequences if left unchecked. Beth Walker introduces a new chinadialogue series on urbanisation in the Himalayas The Himalayas are the youngest, tallest and most unstable mountain range in the world. The geological forces that created its high peaks continue to push the

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Inviting Disasters-in Himalayas

May 23rd, 2011 | By

Worldwide 214 river basins host 40 percent of the world’s population, and the Himalayas with huge stocks of water in the form of snow and ice, are the biggest source of surface fresh water in frozen form after the polar ice caps. The Himalayan region has an extremely fragile ecosystem and is source to 10

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Nepal: The Himalayan River Relations, War not a big deal

May 12th, 2011 | By

Rivers origin and flow: Both the northern and southern basins of Himalayan Asia are fed by the rivers originating in the Himalaya, the abode of snow. The Himalayan Mountains are the source of life and livelihood for the people of South Asia and China. Whether it is Brahmputra (Yarlung Zangbo Jiang), Mahakali-Karnali-Koshi-Gandaki, rivers of Indus

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SAARC to push agenda of disaster risk reduction

Apr 20th, 2011 | By

Alarmed by the devastations caused by various natural disasters, including earthquake and Tsunami in different parts of the world, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states have agreed to push the agenda of strengthening SAARC Disaster Management Center and disaster risk reduction measures in the upcoming SAARC Summit to be held in Maldives

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Thinley to focus on cooperation

Apr 17th, 2011 | By

KATHMANDU: Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley, in his capacity as SAARC chair, arrived here in Kathmandu for consultation on the mid-term review of progress made by the Bhutan Declaration since the 16th SAARC summit. Talking to this daily, Nepal Director Niranjan Man Sing Basnet at SAARC Secretariat said the consultation visit was for

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Holding back the Himalayas

Apr 16th, 2011 | By

With sticks, picks, and hammers, 300 Bhutanese are trying to hold back the might of the Himalayas. Toiling through chilly summer months, they are slowly opening channels to release water from one of Bhutan’s great glacial lakes. The lake is threatening to burst its banks, as climate change melts the glaciers that feed it. Digging,

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Climate Change in the Himalayas: Lives at Risk

Apr 5th, 2011 | By

Probably everyone has heard about the effects of climate change on melting glaciers high in the Himalayas, but how serious is it? To what extent does this affect present and future populations? And are modern strategies really doing something to work out an effective solution? The Himalayas and the vast Tibetan Plateau stretch to cover

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More and more world leaders want happy nations, not just rich ones

Mar 5th, 2011 | By

In the years since the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan embraced the idea of measuring national progress by the happiness of its citizens, the idea has caught the imagination of leading economists and political leaders across the world. Bhutan‘s idea was taken up by the United Nations Development Programme and refined by economists like Mahbub

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Bhutan’s experiment with happiness

Feb 26th, 2011 | By

By giving well-being a central role in policymaking, the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan has staged a trial that has gripped the world. Dipika Chhetri reports on the environmental impacts. In global discussions about climate change and environment, the word “happiness” is surprisingly rare. But in Bhutan, happiness rhetoric is uncommonly common. The phrase “Gross National

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Announcement of Data Release Glacial Lake Inventory of Bhutan using ALOS (Daichi) Data

Feb 25th, 2011 | By

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is cordially announcing public release of “Glacial Lake Inventory of Bhutan using the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS, nicknamed “Daichi”) Data” (evaluation version). In the Himalayan region, there are numerous lakes in the vicinity of glaciers. These glacial lakes impose potential risks for sudden outbursts and consequent floods. This

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Understanding the impact of Climate Change on Water Resources of Bhutan

Feb 20th, 2011 | By

With an objective to mitigate the impacts of climate change on water resources in the mountain ecosystem, three-day workshop (February 9-11) was held at Paro. Presentations on measures to fight such impacts were made by the participants from India and Nepal, which were relevant to Bhutan. Besides, participants were also briefed on the intact water

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Mainstreaming Poverty Environment Linkages in National Plan, Sectoral Strategies and Implementation in Bhutan

Feb 16th, 2011 | By

For the rural poor in Bhutan, natural resources and ecosystem services are their direct and only sources of livelihood. Rural communities, which make up 69 percent of the country’s population, basically subsist on an integrated farming system of crop production, livestock rearing and use of a wide array of forest-based goods and services. Poverty is

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Austin filmmaker travels far and wide for environmental documentaries

Feb 15th, 2011 | By

Patrick Fries’ latest feature is on the plight of peoples living in the Himalayas. Last year, Austinite Patrick Fries journeyed to Mali to make a film about an endangered desert elephant, to the Amazon to document threats to biodiversity and to the Himalayas for a movie about “environmental refugees,” who have seen their lives changed

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Sri Lanka plays leadership role

Feb 15th, 2011 | By

SAARC, having identified its priorities and put its institutional infrastructure in place, now faces the challenge of rapid and effective implementation for the benefit of all its people, External Affairs Minister Professor G L Peiris said in Thimpu, Bhutan. He was addressing the 33rd session of the SAARC Council of Ministers in the Himalayan Kingdom.

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Saving the living Himalayas

Jan 31st, 2011 | By

Despite seeing the impact of climate change, Bhutan still does not have a system to monitor changes in biodiversity it brings. Such an absence is one of the “national” issues Bhutan has identified for “ensuring biodiversity,” one of the four broad themes to address the impact of climate change. Food security, water security and energy

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Meeting Prepares Road Map for Climate Summit

Jan 27th, 2011 | By

It is already established that climate change is happening in the Himalayas. Rapid melting of glaciers, erratic and unpredictable weather, changing rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures impinge on the ability of mountain populace to sustain their livelihoods. The consequences of such changes on food, water and energy security increasingly feature as the most important concerns

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Bhutan to monitor health hazards related to climate change

Jan 19th, 2011 | By

Surrounded by snow capped mountains, people of Lhasa in Tibet had never even seen a mosquito in their lives. Today, studies have shown that the parasites have started appearing in the high altitude city. Similarly, it has started appearing in Thimphu which did not have the parasites just about a decade ago. This is an

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Climate Summit for Living Himalaya-Bhutan October 2011

Jan 3rd, 2011 | By

In the face of Climate Change, there is urgent need for Himalayan nations to build resilience to buffer the impacts of Climate Change and generate resources for adaptation, capacity building, and technology transfer. Such actions can no longer wait for a global agreement. In the Himalayas where the impacts of global climate are manifesting at

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Bhutan 2010: Foreign Policy Developments

Jan 2nd, 2011 | By

If one looks at the pattern of continuity and change in Bhutan’s foreign policy in 2010, perhaps not much has changed. India–Bhutan relations continue to follow a positive trajectory and over the past few years bilateral relations have evolved into a comprehensive partnership encompassing a wide range of issue areas. While hydro-power tops the list

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In my mind’s eye: Gross National Happiness

Dec 31st, 2010 | By

I saw a sign outside a bar, “Unhappy Hour, 5-9 p.m.” I went in. It was only 4:30. I had another 30 minutes of happiness to kill. Billy Joel’s song “Piano Man” was playing on the jukebox: “It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday. The regular crowd shuffles in. There’s an old man sitting next to

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Cancun was a Success: Agriculture minister-Bhutan

Dec 29th, 2010 | By

Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho says Bhutan must take proactive measures on climate change and cannot wait for any globally binding agreement. He says the glaciers are melting, snowfall and rainfall patterns are changing and they are not waiting for a global agreement. While the recent 16th world climate change conference (COP16) held in Cancun, Mexico, has

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