Sunday, July 12, 2009

Viet Nam ranks fifth in

Happy Planet Index


Smile! Two foreign tourists are welcomed by a guide from Saigontourist .
Viet Nam is the only Asian country in the top ten of the Happy Planet Index 2009.
— VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong

HA NOI — Vietnamese people have some of the highest levels of well-being in the world, according to the Happy Planet Index 2009.

The country ranked fifth out of 143 nations surveyed in the index and is the only Asian country in the top ten. Topping the list were Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Guatemala.

Viet Nam racked up 8.5 in the satisfaction index and has an average life-span of 73.7 years.

Costa Rica reported the highest life satisfaction in the world, with the second-highest average life expectancy of the Americas second only to Canada.

The country’s ecological footprint only narrowly fails to achieve the goal of "one-planet living": consuming its fair share of the Earth’s natural resources.

The HPI is an innovative measure introduced by New Economics Fund (NEF) that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world.

It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives.

The index doesn’t reveal the "happiest" country in the world. It shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens.

The HPI shows that around the world, high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being, and that it is possible to produce high well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources.

It also reveals that there are different routes to achieving comparable levels of well-being.

The model followed by the West can provide widespread longevity and variable life satisfaction, but it does so only at a vast and ultimately counter-productive cost in terms of resource consumption.

Vanuatu, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica and Panama were the leaders in the 2006 list which had 178 countries surveyed. — VNS

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