The Gross National Happiness Commission organized a training/workshop for the working committee and the stakeholders from government and non-government organizations, to sensitize on the population perspective plan. The participants brainstormed on the population perspective plan, and discussed the issues and challenges giving new direction for the formulation of the National Population Policy.
In recognition of the many and often complex relationships that exist between population growth and social and economic development, conscious efforts must be given to achieving positive synergies between policies and programmes in the fields of population and development, reproductive health, environment, gender and economic development. The Vision 2020 stipulates the formulation of a comprehensive population policy during the Eighth Plan and sets milestones such as: reducing population growth rate to 2.08 percent per annum by 2002; 1.63 percent per annum by 2007 and 1.31 percent per annum by 2012.
The high growth of the population was considered a challenge to sustainable development in view of limited natural resources and the rugged and mountainous terrain. Development initiatives have translated into visible achievements and improvement in the quality of life. Bhutan has been able to reduce the overall population growth rate from 3.1 percent per annum in the 1990s to 1.8 percent per annum in 2005. The total fertility rate has declined from 6 children per woman during the 1980s to 3.6 children per woman in 2005. The quality of life as measured by the Human Development Index has increased from 0.477 in 1999 to 0.619 in 2007 and the country ranked 132nd out of 182 countries falling in the medium human development category.
The Reasearch & Evaluation Division (RED) under the GNHC and the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) has been tasked with the responsibility of preparing the draft National Population Policy through the formation of a multisectoral Working Committee.
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