Fourth Druk Gyalpo honoured

Wins award for outstanding contribution to the protection of the global environment

Kyoto Hall Of Fame 24 February, 2011 – The Fourth Druk Gyalpo has been inducted into the Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame for outstanding contribution to the protection of the global environment. 

In a ceremony attended by around 600 people, including Their Imperial Highnesses Prince Akishino-miya and Princess Kiko-Sama and prominent citizens of Japan, Her Royal Highness Princess Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck received the hall of fame award on behalf of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on February 13.

The other recipients were Dr Harada, renowned for his social medical research on environmental pollution issues, beginning with the Minamata disease, and Dr Eleanor Rostrum, the 2009 Nobel laureate in economics, renowned for her work on management of commons by communities in dealing with environmental problems.

“The Fourth Druk Gyalpo was among the earliest world leaders to become conscious of the mounting pressures of development on the bountiful, yet fragile ecosystem,” Her Royal Highness said in her address to the gathering.

“As a result, Bhutan is more green today than it was at the beginning of Bhutan’s developmental process some 50 years ago and highlighted that Bhutan has a forest cover of 72 percent, with almost 50 percent of the country declared as protected areas that host an array of flora and fauna, including some of the rarest and threatened species in the world,” Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck said. “Such achievements emboldened Bhutan to pledge before the world at the COP 15 that it will forever remain carbon neutral.”

In the acceptance speech that was read out by Her Royal Highness, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo said that he looked upon the award as a recognition accorded to his people and country for their efforts to live and progress in harmony with the natural habitat, and that he dedicated it to the people of Bhutan and all those, who have been steadfast in their support and commitment to preserve the natural environment in Bhutan and the world.

The ceremony was followed by the Kyoto international symposium, at which Her Royal Highness gave the keynote address on Gross National Happiness. She said that, as Japan looked at ways to deal with its slow economic growth and an aging population problem, the GNH paradigm might offer useful ideas for the envisioning of a new and re-invigorated Japan. Over 800 people attended the symposium. It was followed by a panel discussion that included professors from the Chiba and Kyoto universities, as well as the former vice president of the World Bank. The ambassador to Japan and the GNH secretary represented Bhutan in the panel.

Her Royal Highness visited the Ryukoku university in Kyoto on February 14 and delivered another GNH lecture to a packed auditorium of around 450 people, made up mainly of university faculty members as well as graduate students.

While in Tokyo, Her Royal Highness met members of the Imperial Family, including Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino-miya, as well as senior government officials and distinguished citizens of Japan. Her Royal Highness also visited the Juntendo university and the NHK studio, and met Bhutanese students studying in Japan.

Source: Kuensel Newspaper