The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that each Goal and target are achieved by 2030.
As a holistic and responsible approach to sustainable development, Gross National Happiness (GNH) is, in the words of His Majesty the King, “development with values”. GNH is a development philosophy within which all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are contained. The nation’s Five Year Plans are carefully guided by GNH and resonates strongly with the SDGs, with clear synergies in vision and opportunities for practical application.
Guided by the development philosophy of GNH, Bhutan is committed to realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Bhutan will graduate from the Least Developed Category (LDC) on completion of the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) period (2018-2023). The 12th Plan will be Bhutan’s transition plan to non-LDC status during which concerted national efforts will continue towards implementing the SDGs.
Bhutan is well on track in implementing the SDGs. Having made great progress in its socio-economic development, the incidences of income poverty reduced from 23.2 per cent in 2007 to 8.2 in 2017, while multidimensional poverty fell from 12.7 per cent in 2012 to 5.8 in 2017 respectively. Income inequality, on average, has remained at a minimal level; and the economy has grown at an average of 7.5 per cent along with structural changes. The share of the industry to total GDP has increased to 41.5 per cent in 2016 from 11.5 per cent in 1980, and service sector contributed about 42 per cent to the total GDP. Bhutan’s population today is increasingly urbanized, young, and educated with half the population below 28 years; and unemployment under 2.5 per cent.
Despite the progress made, Bhutan faces the last mile challenges such as poverty eradication, bridging the gaps in income inequality, economic diversification and addressing the needs of the vulnerable groups.
With the objective of a Just,Harmonious and Sustainable Society through enhanced Decentralization, the 12th Plan and its 17 national key result areas are drawn from the timeless vision and wisdom emanating from the Golden Throne. Reflecting Bhutan’s status as an active member of the global community, it also takes into consideration the SDGs and other regional and international commitments.
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