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Field Exercise on Frontier Issues(-FEFI-) Bhutan: Gross National Happiness and sustainability

Last updated June 13, 2014

At Thinleigang Primary School


Title of the Unit

Field Exercise on Frontier Issues(-FEFI-) Bhutan: Gross National Happiness and sustainability 


Aim and Contents

As a small landlocked country in eastern Himalayas with only 750000 inhabitants, the kindom of Bhutan has caught the attention of the world because of its novel development philosophy -- Gross National Happiness (GNH). Instead of Gross National Product (GNP), this concept of GNH was promoted by the 4th King of Bhutan and developed and operationalized by Bhutanese scholars and government, in order to achieve its four golden pillars: promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance. 


The FEFI Bhutan unit of the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science of University of Tokyo, organized by students in the Global Leadership Initiative, focused on studying how the concept of GNH was operationalized practically by the government and other actors in Bhutan. The main objective was therefore to get a better understanding of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a tool to achieve development while sustaining the main foundations of the Bhutanese society. To achieve this, a series of field visits to various project sites, interviews with international and national organizations, and questionnaire surveys are conducted in response to the research questions during 28th February to 12th March, 2013. - Zhou Tianyi, master student



Gross National Happiness (GNH), sustainable development


Time and Place

Kingdom of Bhutan (Thimphu, Paro, Phobjikha, Punakha, Wongdue Phodrang): 28th February - 12th March, 2013.


Collaborating partners/ organizations

Bhutan Observer, Bhutan Youth Development Fund, College of Natural Resources (CNR), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), GNH Commission, Greener Way, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ministry of Economic Affairs Bhutan, Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), The Nazhoen Pelri Skills and Training Centre (NSPTC), Thinleigang Primary School, United Nations Bhutan (UNDP, WFP, Unicef ), Wongdue Phodrang Local Administration
(In alphabetical order)


Related faculty members

Asso. Prof. Onuki Motoharu

Prof. Kurokura Hisashi

Dr. Ogata Yuka



Group Report BHUTAN

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