The Blue Economy –Special News July 2011
Just a few days ago, and together with some of you, we have been in one of the most fascinating and breath-taking countries of the world, the Kingdom of Bhutan, for a momentous meeting to launch the Gross National Happiness Fund.
This special newsletter will provide you an insight into this exciting six-day event, and inform you about the most recent developments in Bhutan.
The Bhutan Meeting began on June 20 with a welcoming of the more than 70 participants from all over the world by her majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The first three days focused on the Kingdom and its citizens, nature, economy, culture and spirituality. Presentations by experts such as Dasho Karma Ura, director of the Centre for Bhutan Studies, introduced the participants with the concept of Gross National Happiness and its significance for Bhutan.
The participants were especially impressed by the children of the country, who show a particular conscience for environmentally oriented living already at an elementary school age. The education of Bhutan’s youth is focused on a way of life in harmony with nature.. This enlightened our participants about the importance of engaging the coming generation in sustainable development and maintaining a healthy balance between human beings and nature for the sake of our future.
During the following days, the experts of the Blue Economy guided by Prof. Dr. Gunter Pauli, presented their innovations and business models using locally available resources, which can support Bhutan in its development of a sustainable and succesful economy. Among these were concepts for international marketing of organically farmed buckwheat for food production in industrial nations like Japan and Germany. Some promising products from buckwheat are the manufacturing of alcohol-free organic beer and soba (Japanese noodles).
The portfolio of technologies that may be implemented to achieve national energy independence was of a special interest. At present the country relies on fuel imported from neighboring countries like India, and is in need of decentralized solutions for the many remote Himalayan communities. A combination of technologies like solar panels by the Swedish company Solarus AB (Case 53) as well as the production of methane gas from sewage slurry and organic waste within biogas plants will surely form part of the strategy in reaching this milestone.
The innovations and business models presented were discussed with the participants and the Bhutanese government, focusing on their potential for Bhutan and their economic viability. After the Bhutan Meeting, the best and most promising concepts will be implemented within a series of projects. Almost all meeting participants have announced their willingness to assist through providing financial and technological support for these projects.
In cooperation with the Blue Economy, Bhutan is developing an initiative which is unique in the world and will surely be an outstanding example and a new benchmark for sustainable ecological and economical activity. We are looking forward to informing you regularly about the exciting developments and details of each of the projects within our Blue Economy Community website as well as our newsletter.
Some impressions from the Land of the Thunder Dragon and the Bhutan Meeting are available within our facebook profile.
If you have a special interest in our projects in Bhutan or wish to support a particular project, please do not hesitate to mail us via: [email protected]