Penjor, T. (2012) The Policy Debate Between Poverty Reduction and Environmental Protection in Bhutan: A Case Study of Shingkiiar-Gorgan Road in Liiuntse District

Lhunste is one of the least developed districts in the eastern part of Bhutan with 43% of population below poverty line. The elected government decided to construct the Shingkhar-Gorgan road which passes through Thrumshingla National Park (INP) to reduce poverty. However, the country's existing laws and policies prohibit roads passing through national parks and protected areas. Therefore, NGOs and other concerned stakeholders have raised concerns towards the government's decision. This thesis examines the competing policy priorities between poverty reduction and environmental protection in Bhutan in which the Shingkhar-Gorgan road is being debated and acted upon by various concerned stakeholders. The information used in the study was collected from two main sources: documentary research; and in-depth focus-group and individual interviews with key informants, including two environmental NGOs, two government stakeholders responsible for environmental protection, a Member of Parliament, and informants from Lhuntse District it includes Jarey, Metsho and Menbi Gups (local leaders) and residents in Gorgan.

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