The Bhutan Foundation works to serve the people of Bhutan in living and sharing the principle of Gross National Happiness.

The MISSION of Bhutan Foundation is to support the people of Bhutan to reach their full potential by developing local capacity and facilitating global support.

Why is it important?

At its core, Gross National Happiness is a responsible, human-centered paradigm focused on the well-being of all citizens. It favors the premise that development of a nation should not be based on technological or commercial development but on a holistic model that places people at its center. The Bhutan Foundation supports work in all four pillars of Gross National Happiness: Conservation of the Environment, Equitable and Sustainable Development, Good Governance, and Cultural Preservation. As put by His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, “today GNH is the bridge between the fundamental values of kindness, equality and humanity, and the necessary pursuit of economic growth.”

How do they do it?

Environmental Conservation - It was with conservation in mind that the Constitution of Bhutan was drafted to include a stipulation that 60 percent of land in Bhutan shall, for all time, remain under forest cover. They also achieve conserving rich wildlife with Mountain Tiger and Snow Leopard Conservation initiatives as well as putting a strong emphasis on promoting eco-tourism and climate change research. 

Sustainable Development - Bhutan’s criteria for development are equal parts social and economic. A crucial element to this growth goal is to ensure that these services and opportunities are available to the most disadvantaged populations in society. This is done by setting a strong foundation for the nation’s scientists and work in STEM development, prioritizing special education, establishing a small grants program for emerging needs, and providing and sustaining free health care while improving emergency medical services. 

Cultural Preservation - Bhutan sees culture as central to its identity for its people and as a nation. The Bhutan Foundation supports FOTM programs that further research and expand knowledge on Bhutanese traditional medicine practices while conserving over 600 species of medicinal plants. As one of the last surviving monarchies in the world, Bhutan Foundation works to restore palaces to their former glory.

With the absence of a proper database and inventory of cultural heritage sites, Bhutan faces a huge challenge in protecting the cultural heritage, particularly in the phase of rapid socio-economic development. The inventory and database system would assist in planning the major infrastructural projects like hydropower or economic zones with proper consideration for cultural heritage sites.

Good Governance - Democracy was introduced in Bhutan in 2008, making it the youngest democracy to be established under peaceful measures. Their citizen project, Project Democracy, is a three-year citizenship engagement project to develop news literacy and build active community citizenship participation.

In Bhutan, a civil society organization (CSO) is a local nonprofit organization that is not part of the government but complements the government’s efforts and plays a significant role in the development of the country. They are actively expanding their capacity for building civil society organizations, and since the CPO Act of 2007, 47 CSOs have been registered.

How you can #TravelKindly: 

Choose Bhutan Foundation  as your local charity when you book with Kind Traveler and invest in conserving Bhutan’s rich natural environment, preserving its unique culture, developing equitable and sustainable progress, and promoting good governance throughout Bhutan.

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