Bhutan: First Country with Completely Organic Farming

By shunning all but organic farming techniques, the Himalayan state will cement its status as a paradigm of sustainability

– John Vidal and Annie Kelly for the guardian

MDG : Bhutan : farmers transplanting rice shoots into rice paddies in Paro valley,

Already an overwhelmingly agrarian state,

Bhutan is aiming to become the world’s first completely organic country. Photograph: Alamy

Bhutan plans to become the first country in the world to turn its agriculture completely organic, banning the sales of pesticides and herbicides and relying on its own animals and farm waste for fertilisers.

But rather than accept that this will mean farmers of the small Himalayan kingdom of around 1.2m people (according to Pema Gyamtsho, Bhutan’s minister of agriculture and forests; the World Bank estimates it at around 740,000) will be able to grow less food, the government expects them to be able to grow more – and to export increasing amounts of high quality niche foods to neighbouring India, China and other countries.

The decision to go organic was both practical and philosophical, said Gyamtsho, in Delhi for the annual sustainable development conference last week. “Ours is a mountainous terrain. When we use chemicals they don’t stay where we use them, they impact the water and plants. We say that we need to consider all the environment. Most of our farm practices are traditional farming, so we are largely organic anyway.

“But we are Buddhists, too, and we believe in living in harmony with nature. Animals have the right to live, we like to to see plants happy and insects happy,” he said.

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World leaders lost sight of their urgent purpose!



WWF Rio+20 closing statement (via World Wildlife Fund)

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Five of the World’s Most Sustainable Building Concepts



GUEST POST: Five of the World’s Most Sustainable Building Concepts (via http://greenbuildingelements.com)

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How One German Village Became a Renewable Energy Leader



Power Play — German Energy Revolution Video (via Clean Technica)

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Ancient Amazonian Farming Technique



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An Act of Green



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Via SpringofSustainability.com, presented by The Shift Network and Sustainable World Coalition. By Peggy Duvette One billion is a big number. But it’s not unreachable. Earth Day Network is collecting a Billion Acts of Green, and has just passed the three-quarter mark of 750,000 (786 million-plus…

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If you consider yourself eco-minded, then you’re probably comfortable bandying about words like carbon footprint, solar panels and electric cars. “Water footprint” should be part of your green vocabulary as well. Water shortages are hitting the headlines as summer creeps across North America,…

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United Nations held a High Level Meeting for ‘Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm’

Encouraged by the government of Bhutan, the United Nations held a ‘High Level Meeting for Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm’, attended by 650 world leaders.  The meeting marks the launch of a global movement to shift our focus away from measuring and promoting economic growth as a goal in its own right, and toward the goal of measuring—and increasing—human happiness and quality of life. Continue reading “United Nations held a High Level Meeting for ‘Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm’”