English | Dzongkha Saturday, September 21, 2019

“Imagine Change” forum looks at sustainable consumption

Mar 21, 2014

ImagineChangeThe consumerism culture is fast catching up in Bhutan given the increasing income and living standards. Many feel sustainable consumption is the only way out of over-indulgence.

Sustainable consumption is about looking at consumption choices or doing assessment between the needs and wants.

A researcher with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Laura Turley, said it is also about consumption choices, either as an individual or collectively, that would reduce negative environment and social impact. She said the concept of sustainable consumption is applicable in all countries.

Laura Turley said the consumption pattern in Bhutan is less destructive as compared to its neighboring countries. “But, that’s not the reason, to not to consider already, when an economy by nature is growing to consider what impact its current patterns have on the future and making sure you  are on right track…”

Another Speaker, the advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of the Druk Holding and Investments, Randall Krantz, said the government and policymakers have certain roles to provide right incentives to be more sustainable.

“In Bhutan the supply side mostly import from India. But we can look at what we are importing. We can look how sustainable it is. At some point of time there was a bill to look at putting extra tax on junk food.  That is health sustainability. It didn’t pass but this is the kind of thing Bhutan should continue looking at it.”

Meanwhile, to support the concept of Gross National Happiness by promoting sustainable consumption, a green public procurement project is also being initiated.

In Bhutan, the government is considered the largest buyer in the country with the public procurement amounting to 60 to 70 percent of the government budget or around 35 percent of the GDP in 2012-13.

The forum, “Imagine Change”, took place in Thimphu, yesterday.


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