Election Manifesto #1- Measuring environment is measuring GNH?

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Professor Timothy G. Gregoire | Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Bhutan’s constitution mandates 60% forest coverage. National statistics currently boasts of achieving over 70%. Most importantly, what makes up for that 70% of forest? Are shrubs included and what is top tree species? In short can we measure the actual number of trees in Bhutan? Are we saving too many trees? or growing too little?

If we can measure them, can we then think of a forest product item that could be promoted for jobs and diversification of our economy? Is there any opportunity for exporting our knowledge of a bio hot spot image, in real practical terms for forest entrepreneurs? We may find these answers from Prof Timothy of Yale University and his team of alumni scholars from Bhutan.

I met Professor Timothy G. Gregoire of Yale School of Forestry and Environment studies on 25th July, 2018 at Yale University. Thanks for the sumptuous lunch at the Yale Faculty Club and for the wonderful campus tour of everything historical and impressive.

What has been fascinating though has been the focus of Professor Timothy’s work on Bhutan Forestry. He had been to Bhutan for over 15 years, worked with many officials including the former Agriculture Ministry, Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, and was responsible for guiding many Bhutanese alumni at the Yale Forestry studies.

Prof and his team and his Bhutan team has initiated the inventory of entire forest in Bhutan within a grid of 4×4 sq.km. Will our next government commit to carrying out this stock taking and measuring our environment to bring out the numbers that will facilitate an evidence based environmental management policy. Measuring our trees and environment is measuring our GNH.

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