Relevance of Soils for Gross National Happiness

Caspari, Thomas

In: Gross National Happiness and Development - Proceedings of the First International Conference on Operationalization of Gross National Happiness. Centre for Bhutan Studies, Thimphu 2004, pp. 692-705 . ISBN 99936-14-22-X

[thumbnail of GNH_and_Soils.pdf]
PDF, English
Download (166kB) | Terms of use

Download (166kB)
For citations of this document, please do not use the address displayed in the URL prompt of the browser. Instead, please cite with one of the following:


Soils are an integral element of Gross National Happiness (GNH). They are connected to all its major constituents, and this is why I believe that the sustainable management of this vital natural resource can also be based on the GNH philosophy. The holistic approach in combination with the Buddhist principle of the "Middle Path" has the potential to avoid the danger of mere technocratic implementation of development goals, which could have devastating effects on Bhutan's fragile mountain ecosystems in general and its soils in particular. It encourages including spiritual and environmental aspects of soils into the overall equation, and thus guarantees a balanced weighing of all involved interests, be it human or non-human. Despite the present satisfactory situation, we must face the fact that with the current setting of rapidly growing population and increased human development activities, the material interest in soils as "production factor" may become of predominant importance in the future. Nevertheless I want to conclude with the positive note that steps taken to enhance the state of the soils are likely to have favourable influences not only in one direction but several ways. Sustainably managed soils are healthy and fertile, resulting in material gain for man (crop success) and nature (minimum interference), psychological gain (stable income enlarges people's choices) and last but not least hopefully maintain the reverence we feel for the "invisible mother of the farm".

Document type: Book Section
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2010 13:10
ISBN: 99936-14-22-X
Faculties / Institutes: Research Organisations / Academies > Centre for Bhutan Studies
DDC-classification: Agriculture
Controlled Keywords: Boden, Bruttonationalglück, Ökosystem
Uncontrolled Keywords: Landwirtschaft, Gross National Happiness , Soil , Ecosystem , Agriculture
Subject (classification): Agriculture and Forestry
Countries/Regions: Bhutan