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Commemorating 100 Years of Coverage of the Kingdom of Bhutan

Courtesy of Royal Office for Media

Courtesy of Royal Office for Media (ROM)

17th November 2014, the National Geographic Society (NGS) held a reception at Tashi Taj Thimphu to commemorate 100 years of coverage of the Kingdom of Bhutan. This year marks the 100th year since the publication of the first National Geographic article on Bhutan (by John Claude White in 1914).

The event was graced by Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen.

Coinciding with the event, the NGS will also be holding their annual Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE) meeting in Bhutan this year.

The Bhutan Foundation assisted the NGS program and other details leading up to the November 17th event.

Find out more about the NGS event here.


Partner Spotlight: Bhutan Nuns Foundation

Her-Majesty-Queen-Mother-Ashi-Tshering-Yangdon-Wangchuck-48-KM-walk-to-raise-fundsSince its inception in 2009, the Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF) has used its entrepreneurial spirit to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individual nuns, their families, and their communities, through education and economic self-sufficiency. BNF provides an educational platform for more than 1,000 young women and girl nuns in 26 nunneries across Bhutan. The Bhutan Foundation supports the Bhutan Nuns Foundation in initiatives to improve the quality of life and education of the nuns.

On November 4, 2014, Her Majesty the Queen Mother Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, patron of the Bhutan Nuns Foundation, along with 400 volunteers, walked 48 km over a period of 13 hours to raise funds for the Bhutan Nuns Foundation’s new retreat center. The BNF volunteers alone raised a total of Nu. 5.2 million (approximately $87K), with a generous contribution of Nu. 500,000 (approximately $8.5K) by the Queen Mother. BNF plans to collaborate with local experts to build this multi-purpose retreat center, where nuns will be trained to become teachers, counselors, and instructors.[more…]

Last year, BNF hosted their first-ever International Nuns’ Conference in Paro, Bhutan (December 14 to 16, 2013). Nuns and supporters of BNF attended the conference from countries around the world, including Korea, India, Taiwan, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, and Switzerland. The conference consisted of presentations and panel discussions focused on the importance of engagement in society, living together with the Sangha, and further development of life skills to improve nuns’ quality of life.

Today, the Bhutan Nuns Foundation continues to serve nuns and women throughout these nunneries in Bhutan.

Bhutan Holds First International Public Discourse on the Energy, Economy, and Environment (E3)


From October 29 to 31, Bhutan witnessed its first public discourse on hydropower development. With an ambitious goal of producing 10,000 MW of hydropower by 2020, the country is poised to put a hydropower project on every major river basin. Is this where Bhutan wants to head, at this pace? This was the point of discussion at the Energy, Economy and Environment (E3) conference organized by the Bhutan Ecological Society and QED Group in Thimphu.[more…]

Speakers included power developers, engineers, civil servants from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, members of the private sector, and members of civil society. They touched upon topics such as urban planning, the economics of power generation, renewable energy, and social inclusion. Lessons were also shared from countries in the region and Europe. The most important result is that a conversation has begun on the sector that remains Bhutan’s largest source of revenue. However, many participants were also questioning the implications of this accelerated power sector development on the environment, society, and economy. Detailed proceedings of the conference will soon be available.

A summary of the main points will be presented to relevant committees of the two houses of parliament for further deliberations. The conference was conducted in partnership with the Bhutan Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation with support from other partners.

Learn more about the conference here.