VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Forests Are Worthless Until Cut Down

Dasho Neten remembers a time when “people simply acted on their values informally,” while now the general sense of citizenship wanes. As a farmer and prominent activist in Bhutan, Dasho Neten challenges us not to depend on the government to build our societies. “We need to wake up! There is an inconvenient truth lingering, and we need to ask: are we really moving towards self-reliance? Sometimes we need reminders, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.”

Establishing Yourself: Foodways in Ayurveda

I met Saha at Bija Vidyapeeth, the educational farm managed by the agricultural and activism nonprofit, Navdanya. Saha teaches Ayurveda around the world, from basic workshops to more complex courses. She spent most of her life in the air and space industry, but during a period of personal, physical crisis, Saha found herself in and out of hospitals until her mother took her to an Ayurvedic doctor. “Something that had been bothering me for four or five years was within two weeks under control, and within six months was gone.”

Insisting on Truth – Bhopal and Beyond

“I cut all the pictures out of my textbook…they were so…” My friend Anu doesn’t finish her thought. She doesn’t have to. I know the words that she can use, but they will never fully articulate the horrific, gruesome, tragic images depicting the event of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster, considered by many to be the…

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Raghubir Singh Rawat, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Rawat bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye health,” he says before popping the small white diamond-shape flower in his mouth. He stretches above his…

Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      

Bhutan Rising: Democracy from Scratch

Bhutan is a relative newcomer to modernity: the country’s first paved road was completed in 1962, and the Internet and TV were not introduced until 1999. Since 2000, however, the pace of its development has snowballed. That acceleration is particularly evident in the country’s shifting demographics. Sixty percent of the Bhutan’s population is below the age of 34. While some people work on farms, more and more prefer to live and work in cities such as Thimphu, the capital. It’s easier than ever to move to those cities, but difficult to find jobs in them.

An Amazing 103 Wild Tigers Counted in Bhutan

‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ Completes First Wild Tiger Survey   By the World Wildlife Fund Bhutan is home to an amazing 103 wild tigers—an increase from a previous estimate of 75 that was not based on actual field surveys—according to the country’s first-ever tiger survey released on Global Tiger Day [July 29]. Conducted entirely…

National Geographic in Bhutan: Dochula Pass

High on top of a mountain pass on the road from Thimphu to Punaka, overlooking the Himalayas, is a concentration of 108 chortens (stupas) built in memory of Bhutanese soldiers killed in the 2003 war against insurgents from India.

Ascending Bhutan’s Sacred Tiger’s Nest

Upon visiting the most sacred place in Bhutan, the Tiger’s Nest monastery thousands of feet up on the side of a mountain, David Braun reflects on the precepts of Buddhism that encourage the country’s powerful respect for nature.

Along Bhutan’s River Valleys to Find Black-Necked Cranes

On his final field inspection with the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE), Geographer Keith Clarke writes about his experience in Bhutan and reflects on his eight-year term with CRE.

National Geographic in Bhutan: Buddha Dordenma Statue

Before leaving the Bhutanese capital city today, the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration visited what will soon be the largest sitting statue of Buddha.

Bhutan Seems to Offer Hope for the Future of Us All

Dr. Peter Raven, Trustee of the National Geographic Society and Chairman of the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration, reflects on a poem he read at an event to celebrate a hundred years of National Geographic coverage of Bhutan.

Queen of Bhutan Celebrates National Geographic’s Anniversary Coverage

THIMPHU, BHUTAN–Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck addressed a celebration of one hundred years of coverage of the Kingdom of Bhutan by National Geographic tonight. The event was held at the Taj Tashi Hotel, where the Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE) is lodging in the mountain kingdom’s capital. Led by National Geographic President and CEO Gary Knell, the CRE is touring Bhutan to learn about the country’s science and conservation programs and visit researchers in the field.

Conversation with Bhutan’s Young “Dragon King”

THIMPHU, Bhutan–King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is a young ruler connected deeply with the digital universe while remaining anchored in the teaching and wisdom handed down through generations. He surfs the Web to gauge the mood of the people, following the conversations of his subjects and engaging them through social media. He has his own Facebook page, and he knows…

Patience and Hope in Snow Leopard Country

As the whole nation of Bhutan kicks off a year-long celebration of the 60th birth anniversary of the revered monarch, the fourth King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck (who turns 60 on November 11, 2015), there are ample reasons to celebrate his visionary leadership and statesmanship. He was a champion of environmental conservation,…