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Bhutan Honored with Murie Spirit of Conservation Award


October 12, 2023

Karma Dorji, Travel Programs Coordinator, Bhutan Himalaya Expeditions

Bhutan receives the prestigious Murie Spirit of Conservation Award on October 17, 2023 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

With thoughtful itineraries honed since 1999, we unveil the depths of Bhutan's happiness philosophy, the daily physical adventures through the beautiful Himalayan landscape complemented by the intimate and in-depth cultural experiences sensitively curated for you every day. 

Through the eyes of a select few informed leaders we saw the dilemmas of a culture: A hitherto sheltered nation discovering the arguments for and against remaining a cloistered society in this 21st Century. I loved the adventure, and I loved the discovery. Unlike anything else I have ever experienced!

Lola W., California 



Join the Celebration!

As esteemed friends of Bhutan, we'd love it if you're able to attend and join the celebration of Bhutan's remarkable achievements for a better planetary future. 

The annual Murie Spirit of Conservation Awards Presentation will take place at the Teton Science Schools, The Center Theater, 700 Coyote Canyon Rd., Jackson, WY 83001, United States.

Tickets for the event hosted by the Teton Science Schools are available at this link. Or you can call their main line at 307.734.8956; For the Box Office, please call 307.733.4900. You can also email them at:

Her Majesty the Queen Mother of Bhutan, Ashi Tseyring Pem Wangchuck

Her Majesty the Queen Mother is the co-chair of the Bhutan Foundation, the kingdom's premier charity and international partnerships organization creating, and working with, a global network of supporters to ensure sustainable, broad-based, and holistic development in Bhutan, with a special emphasis on the four pillars of Gross National Happiness: environmental conservation, equitable development, good governance, and cultural preservation.

Her Majesty began her schooling at St. Helen’s Convent in Kurseong, Darjeeling District, in the Indian State of West Bengal. After graduation, she married the Fourth King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck. 

Her Majesty has a special interest in youth welfare and education. In 1999, Her Majesty the Queen Mother served as the president of the Bhutan Youth Development Fund, a non-profit founded by His Majesty the Fourth King in 1998. Begun with a $1 million dollar endowment fund, Her Majesty strengthened the BYDF by mobilizing philanthropists around the world, and by raising funds for youth-focused development programs in Bhutan. The Queen Mother’s dedication to quality education for youth in the kingdom is recognized by the Ministry of Education in Bhutan. Her unwavering belief that a wholesome education is crucial for shaping a wholesome human being has been the driving force behind the introduction of innovative place-based education in Bhutan. 

Presently, under Her Majesty's leadership, the Bhutan Foundation is one of the most significant organizations supporting wide-ranging programs in Bhutan aimed at building Bhutanese professional capacity while supporting the work of the government and its civil society partners. Learn more about the groundbreaking work of the Bhutan Foundation here:

Acceptance on Behalf of Bhutan

Her Majesty will graciously accept the Murie Spirit Award on behalf of Bhutan, reaffirming our nation's unwavering commitment to environmental conservation and the preservation of our unique Himalayan ecosystem.

Royal Acknowledgment

During the award ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen Mother of Bhutan, Ashi Tseyring Pem Wangchuck, will receive the Champion of Rising Leaders Award in acknowledgment of her exceptional efforts in inspiring and nurturing the next generation of environmental leaders. It is a truly significant moment for Bhutan's commitment to sustainability and fostering a better future for our planet.

Previous Murie Spirit of Conservation awardees 

Previous recipients of the ward include global conservation icon Dr. Jane Goodall; famed field biologist Dr. George Schaller; Award-winning filmmaker and National Geographic photographer, Jimmy Chin; Rose Marcario, Board Member, Advisor, and Former CEO of Patagonia, Inc.; and the actor Harrison Ford, for his work as Vice-Chair of Conservation International, a global nonprofit dedicated to building a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet.

WE ARE THRILLED to announce that the Kingdom of Bhutan has been awarded the prestigious Murie Spirit of Conservation Award for its dedication to environmental preservation. This marks the first-ever recognition of an entire country for its outstanding efforts in conservation.

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