English | Dzongkha Wednesday, May 22, 2019

His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo inducted into the Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame

Feb 23, 2011

His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo was inducted into the Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame on 13 February 2011. The Earth Hall of Fame is an award that honours individuals who have made outstanding contribution to the protection of the global environment.

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

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

In her address to the gathering, Her Royal Highness said that His Majesty 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 and highlighted how His Majesty pursued his dream of preserving Bhutan’s pristine ecology. Her Royal Highness said that as a result, Bhutan is greener today than it was at the beginning of Bhutan’s developmental process some 50 years ago. Her Royal Highness pointed out that Bhutan has a forest cover of 72% with almost 50% of the country declared as protected areas that hosts an array of flora and fauna including some of the rarest and threatened species in the world. Her Royal Highness said the achievements emboldened Bhutan to pledge before the world at the COP 15 that it will forever remain carbon neutral.

In the acceptance message of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo that was read out by Her Royal Highness, His Majesty 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 Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame award ceremony was followed by the Kyoto International Symposium, at which Her Royal Highness gave the keynote address on Gross National Happiness. Among others, Her Royal Highness stated that as Japan looked at ways to deal with its slow economic growth and an aging population, the GNH paradigm might offer useful ideas for the envisioning of a new and re-invigorated Japan. Over 800 people attended the symposium. The Royal Address was followed by a panel discussion that included Professors from the Chiba and Kyoto University as well as the former Vice President of the World Bank, the Ambassador to Japan and the GNH Secretary represented Bhutan in the panel. The panel discussions and the question and answer sessions among the panelists mainly focused on GNH and its application.

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

While in Tokyo, Her Royal Highness met the 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 officials of the Government and distinguished citizens of Japan. Her Royal Highness also visited the Juntendo University & the NHK studio, and met Bhutanese students studying in Japan.

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