As prophesized by the great Terton (Treasurer) Drukdra Dorji, a great king was born in the kingdom of Bhutan who nurture, molded and took his country to a higher stage under his benevolent reign. He is the living god, a great father and a protector who is embedded and etched in the heart and blood of every Bhutanese. He is my king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. To write about his reign and accomplishments would need a merit and great knowledge, for he is the mighty king whose accomplishments are as vast as a space and as deep as the great ocean. Even then, as a Bhutanese and son to his country, as a conservationist and environmentalist I pay my tribute and respect with this blog article so that everyone who read will remember for eons about his benediction and endeavor in becoming the environmental champion of the world.
- Environmental Conservation as a Pillar of Gross National Happiness:
In a modernized and globalized world, where the merits have defiled with personal interest dominating over the social values, the great king of Bhutan has included environment conservation as a pillar and building block in country’s developmental paradigm. It is an unprecedented legacy which was never in the history of world. Unlike developed world, who has taken so much from the environment, his majesty the farsighted king had given epitome importance to environment conservation to have win-win development in line with environment conservation. Because of his visionary and outstanding endeavor, Bhutan has become environment wonder of world. Today we are known to outside world by the environment which is because of his majesty’s leadership. Therefore, he is the environmental champion of the world.
2. Bhutan’s pledge to remain 60% forest cover by Constitution
When rest of world is erecting towers and buildings, Bhutan has maintained its greenery through environment conservation. We have a constitution pledging to have 60% forest cover for all times to come. His majesty in his reign has paved us the importance of forest conservation through establishment of protected areas and biological corridors. Today more than 52% of the country is protected through 10 protected areas and 7 biological corridors. Including 60% forest coverage in constitution is unprecedented in the history of world when world is competing for gross domestic products and the development. Today Bhutan has 71% under forest cover due to his farsighted leadership and commitment towards environment conservation. Bhutan is known to outside world with carbon neutral in fact with carbon negative country because of his majesty’s great philosophy and strenuous commitment. Therefore, he is the environment champion of the world.
3. First Person to Spot White Bellied Heron in Bhutan
White bellied Heron, the critically endangered bird is now in the heart of conservationist. With its global population less than 60, the bird is in the verge of extinction. However, Bhutan is a country with its maximum global distribution. The country has 25 numbers of White Bellied Heron contributing to around 14% of its world population. His majesty being a king of destiny has not only taken his country step ahead in development but also with conservation of wildlife. In 1976, he has spotted white-bellied heron in Punakha for the first time in Bhutan. The king then blessed his subject to protect the species. Today Royal Society for Protection of Nature and Department of Forest and Park Services under the visionary direction of his majesty the king has been protecting the species through research and conservation awareness. Since its blessed by his majesty the great fourth ever since the first sighting, I consider Bhutan is champion to White Bellied Heron conservation because she has highest number of individuals compared to outside world. Therefore, the great fourth is the environmental champion and reveler of the critically endangered White Bellied Heron in Bhutan.
4. United Nation Champion of the Earth 2005
Besides being the destined king of Bhutanese, he is also the great leader who inspired global leaders by his great vision and commitment. He is a king of happiness, a bodhisattva king who not only cared about the emotional wellbeing of its people but also the whole sentient being. His majesty’s outstanding commitment towards environment has been recognized and praised by international leaders and conservation organization. His majesty is one of the first seven global environmental leaders to receive the award from United Nation Environment Protection in 2005. It is the United Nations highest environmental honor recognizing leaders and organization for their exemplary leadership and commitment towards environment, sustainable development, climate change and a life of dignity for all (Report form Gasa Dzongkhag Administration, 2018). Therefore, his majesty the great fourth is the environmental champion of the world.
5. John Paul Getty Conservation Leadership Award in 2006
It is an another important and prestigious award received by the great fourth for his outstanding leadership in environment conservation. In 1974 a Philanthropist and a businessman J. Paul Getty instituted the award to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contribution to the environment conservation. His majesty the great fourth has been awarded for his political leadership in conservation in the year 2006. His majesty is again the first person to receive the award after its establishment as J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership. Earlier, it was known as J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize. Therefore, his majesty the father of Bhutan is not only the inspiration of Bhutanese but also to whole world for his remarkable and exemplary leadership. Hence, he is the environmental champion of the world.
6. Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame in 2011
Just like we have remained indebted to his majesty’s great leadership in environment conservation, the people of the world has recognized and are grateful for his outstanding contribution to global environment protection. His majesty was inducted into the Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame on 13th February 2011 as reported by Bhutan Broadcasting Service. The award was received by her Royal Highness Princess Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck on behalf of the great fourth. Therefore, his majesty the extraordinary king is the heart son of the world for his deeds which has benefited all sentient beings as a whole. As said by our great 5th king, His majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, ‘there was never a king born like great fourth, and there won’t be a king like him in future’, his majesty is therefore the champion of the world. Therefore, as a Bhutanese I would like to pray to the mighty god for peaceful tomorrows of good health and success for the great king and the Wangchuck Dynasty. As always may Bhutan ascend higher under the benevolent benedictions of the king just like the power of great full moon brightening the whole universe. Long live the Kings of Bhutan, Long Live Wangchuk Dynasty for eons and eons taking Bhutan to a brighter world.
As said earlier, it would need a merit and knowledge to write about my extraordinary kings, for his reign and leadership are as vast as the space and its countless stars. Whatever I have written and web-researched are just a pebble in the vast pool of ocean. It is my small tribute, remembrance and source of inspiration while serving my duty and lighting the future. I am deeply humbled as a blogger to write about my King. PALDEN DRUKPA GYALO.