How Do You Fare on the HappyPlanetIndex?

Today, I visited the to check it out because my father, creator of, asked me to. My country, Sri Lanka has achieved a happy place on the index. That makes us both happy!

According to the website, “the HPI is an innovative measure 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.”

Now the second compilation of the global HPI (covering countries representing 99% of the global population) was published in July 2009. It shows that that we earth-citizens are still far from achieving sustainable well-being. It also puts forward a vision of what we need to do to get there.

As the report says, the nations that top the Index aren’t the happiest places in the world. But, those that score well on the HPI are proof that it is possible to achieve long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources.

I am committed to sustainable living. So I wanted to sign The Happy Planet Charter. This is what I found at the top of the page, and how true:

The future is not the result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created – created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.
John Scharr

In order to create a happy planet, it is important to have some clear goals to work towards. The Happy Planet Charter provides clear targets for all nations, to help achieve sustainable well-being.

You should sign The Happy Planet Charter if you believe that:

  • A new narrative of progress is required for the twenty-first century.
  • It is possible to have a good life without costing the Earth.
  • Over-consumption in rich countries represents one of the key barriers to sustainable well-being worldwide and that governments should strive to identify economic models that do not rely on constantly growing consumption to achieve stability and prosperity.

And those of us who believe so, should call for:

  • Governments to measure people’s well-being and environmental impact in a consistent and regular way, and to develop a framework of national accounts that considers the interaction between the two so as to guide us towards sustainable well-being.
  • Developed nations to set an HPI target of 89 by 2050 – this means reducing per capita footprint to 1.7 gha (global hectares), increasing mean life satisfaction to eight (on a scale of 0 to 10) and continuing to increase mean life expectancy to reach 87 years.
  • Developed nations and the international community to support developing nations in achieving the same target by 2070.

Please sign up for the Charter here if you believe in achieving sustainable well-being for all of us around the globe.


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