Just a short update on the progress of my Fulbright research in Bhutan. I am now in the final stage of my research on the policy and administration of Bhutan's landmark 2004 anti-tobacco law. The 2004 anti-tobacco law banned smoking in all public places and all sales of tobacco products. I have researched numerous original documents and have interviewed four government ministries on the anti-tobacco legislation. It is a very interesting story, I must say. Later this month, I will post a final monograph on Bhutan's anti-tobacco law on the Internet that will be at least 60 or 70 pages long entitled: Bhutan Tobacco Use Policymaking and Administration.
In addition, on November 4, 2009, I was honored to interview the Honorable Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan. The interview took place in the Prime Minister's august office in the National Assembly building in Thimphu. The interview primarily focused on the public policy of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan. Included in this discussion was an in depth analysis of the origin, enactment, implementation, and measurement of Gross National Happiness including as it relates to various policy areas such as health. I plan on presenting in public forums, a detailed overview of the public policy of Gross National Happiness, when I return to the United States.
The Prime Minister also formally invited my Travellerspoint co-blogger and picture taker and my wife Rebecca Sherry, assistant research professor of botany and microbiology at the University of Oklahoma to discuss her research on global climate change. Global climate change is of particular concern to Bhutan as an environmental issue that is part of Gross National Happiness and as a security issue due to the significant melting of high altitude Himalaya glaciers that in two cases could cause significant flooding.
Background information on the Bhutan National Assembly can be found here: http://www.nab.gov.bt/. Various pictures related to the National Assembly Building can be found here: http://www.nab.gov.bt/photogallary.php