zilberg - Moving from GDP towards GNH: Beyond The World...

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1 Moving from GDP towards GNH: Beyond The World Bank’s Quality of Growth Model for Achieving Sustainable Development Jonathan Zilberg, Ph.D. Abstract The paper proposes a somewhat sanguine approach to the potential for the acceptance of the concept of GNH in future policy making concerning sustainable development in the Indonesian context. It begins with the obvious, that GDP has been and will remain the yard stick for development and that it is extremely unlikely that technocrats will take such a qualitative and idealistic indicator of the health of society seriously though they may be more inclined to consider the more recent notion of individual “well being” rather than happiness. i The paper proposes that the goals and mechanisms for achieving those goals in the World Bank 2000 Model for promoting sustainable development do in fact theoretically work towards creating better governance and a more equitable society. Accordingly, the new development paradigm in working towards generating well being in society as a whole has taken important conceptual steps towards achieving the goals of the GNH movement, goals which are increasingly becoming the subject of national concern in many developed and developing countries. ii Above all, this paper has a singular purpose. The purpose is to provide those working to achieve the aims of the GNH movement in this region some basic conceptual tools and background which might help them to be more effective in engaging the development world. In this, in light of the upcoming UNFCCC conference in Bali in December and the intense interest in the environment in media and society at large at the moment, it calls for taking personal responsibility as expressed in action rather than leaving the attempted resolution of the basic crisis up to interminable international negotiation. It concludes that what is needed in taking up the challenges in critically engaging the World Bank Model from the point of view of individuals in civil society is to get involved in collective eco-consciousness building and pragmatic eco- action at the micro-level, that is, in terms of the committed self-empowerment of the individual and the community as and where one can. In all this, in my view, the most compelling and effective model for promoting environmental protection and a healthier society still lies after all these decades in Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful (1973). Though there is no need to preach to the converted in this context, what we need to do perhaps is to educate others to continue in this
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2 legacy as activists do – to plant one tree at a time (not write one treaty at a time), teach environmental awareness to our children in one classroom in one school one day at a time. iii
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zilberg - Moving from GDP towards GNH: Beyond The World...

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