Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume. 3 Number 1, Summer 2001

1. Local Resourche Management Institutions: a Case Study on Sokshing Mnagement by Sangay Wangchuk

A case study has been presented on Sokshing Management and its contribution to sustainable livelihood of the Bhutanese people. The case study was carried out over a period of three years taking three representative regions of the country as research sites. Since other local resource management institutions also form integral part of resource management regimes in a community, these have been briefly included in the discussion.

2. Sustaining Conservation Finance: Future Directions for the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation by Tobgay S. Namgyal

This paper discusses three scenarios for the future direction of the trust fund in Bhutan: as a financier of the government’s recurrent costs of conservation; as an autonomous parastatal conservation agency; and as an independent grant maker guided by strategic five-year planning cycles. These scenarios are evaluated for their potential to fulfill the trust fund’s social welfare mandate, as well as their possible contribution to gross national happiness (GNH), based on quantitative parameters established through a conceptual predictive model (Namgyal and Wangchuk, 1999) to measure the social and environmental well-being of Bhutan.

3. Sustainability of Tourism in Bhutan by Tandi Dorji

The royal government has always been aware that an unrestricted flow of tourists can have negative impacts on Bhutan’s pristine environment and its rich and unique culture. The government, therefore, adopted a policy of “high value-low volume” tourism, controlling the type and quantity of tourism right from the start. Until 1991 the Bhutan Tourism Corporation (BTC), a quasi-autonomous and self-financing body, implemented the government’s tourism policy. All tourists, up to that time came as guests of BTC, which in turn operated the tour organisation, transport services and nearly all the hotels and accommodation facilities. The government privatised tourism in October 1991 to encourage increased private sector participation in the tourism sector. Today there are more than 75 licensed tour operators in the country.

4. Ensuring Social Sustainability: Can Bhutan’s Education System Ensure Intergenerational Transmission of Values by Tashi Wangyal

As a result of economic modernisation and the initiation of planned economic development, there has been a tremendous improvement in the living standards of the Bhutanese people. Bhutan has also established diplomatic and trade links with many countries and is a member of numerous international organisations including the United Nations. On the flip side, modernisation has also led to the introduction of modern values that threaten to undermine the traditional values of the Bhutanese people.

5. The Attributes and Values of Folk and Popular Songs by Sonam Kinga

Songs and music are integral parts of Bhutanese culture not only as mere forms of entertainment but also as highly refined works of art reflecting the values and standards of society. Rigsar songs and music however, lack the artistic depth and seriousness of traditional songs. The most significant trend in the development of modern songs is the abrupt break away from religious themes, which permeated most traditional songs to very secular and urban concerns. In their similarity and association with English pop songs and songs of Hindi films, rigsar songs no longer function as a repository of and a medium for transmitting social values.

6. Mass Media: its Consumption and Impact on Resident of Thimphu and Rural Areas by Phuntsho Rapten

The media in Bhutan have progressively enhanced individual awareness by widening the scope of information transmission beyond the traditional face- to-face oral interaction to literacy-oriented communication and now to an electronic media. They have helped to share information about the past and present, depict social, cultural and historical aspects of Bhutan that helped to create a common culture, tradition and system of values. However, the mass media and information technology are increasingly becoming powerful instruments for the penetration of global culture and the values of a global market into Bhutan. This presents one of the greatest challenges to Bhutan as it transitions from a traditional society into the age of information and technology.

7. Bhutanese Context of Civil Society by Karma Galay

Moving from traditional community associations and forums to the emergence of new forms of associations provides both institutional and historical perspectives. Categories of associations and organizations are defined according to the nature of their activities, and the description of these activities illustrate the role of civil society in Bhutan. The role of social capital, such as trust and cooperation among the people, in the socio- economic development of the country, the role of government in creating an enabling environment for the growth of civil society, and some of the distinctive characteristics that differentiate civil society in Bhutan from civil society, elsewhere, are also discussed.