October 24, 2009
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

His Eminence Gyalwang Karmapa Joins Local Movement on International Day of Climate Action Saturday, 24 October 2009, 10:43 a.m.


 
 His Eminence the
17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje speaks during the 350 climate
campaign in Mcleod Ganj, India, on 24 October 2009.Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal/India

Dharamshala: Today,
on the ‘International Day of Climate Action’, the Tibetans and local
people join hands to promote awareness on climate change and its impact
on the Himalayas. His Eminence the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje
inaugurated
a signature drive on climate action day by signing his signature on a
giant piece of cloth, followed by a keynote address
on the importance of environmental conservation at the TCV Day School in Mcleod Ganj. The
campaign is jointly organised by Environment and Development Desk (EDD)
of the Department of Information and International Relations; Clean
Upper Dharamshala Project (CUDP) of the Tibetan Settlement Office and
Tesi Environmental Awareness Movement.  The whole day event
included talks, photo exhibition, signature campaigns, film screening,
and panel discussion. On 23 October, the students of the Tibetan
Children’s Village School, during their callisthenic performance, made
an aerial art formation of ‘Cut CO2 to 350 ppm, Save World’.  The
International Day of Climate Action is initiated by the organisation
350.org to bring attention to the most important number in the world –
350. Scientists say the 350 parts per million (ppm) is the safe upper
limit for carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, which is
currently at 380 ppm. 350 ppm is the number that humanity needs to get
back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.
Gyalwang
Karmapa took the audience by surprise when he shifted his role from
that of “chief guest” to that of “resource person” when he gave a
PowerPoint presentation about the environment. The PowerPoint
presentation was not on the organizers’ list of planned programming for
the day. His Holiness said that every human being has a responsibility
towards preserving nature and that we must act now if the fight against
climate change and the destruction of the environment are going to be
won.

 
 His Eminence Gyalwang Karmapa signs signature campaign before entering the hall, photo: Geleck Palsang

“We
as Buddhists believe that benefiting others is an act of kindness, and
the first thing that comes to our mind, as act of kindness, is giving
alms to the poor. That’s not the only way, there are many ways to be
kind. Taking care of the environment and nature is also a very
important act of kindness that can benefit many humans and animals
alike in the future,” Gyalwang Karmapa said in his opening remarks.“Human
greed is unlimited and uncertain. We have wants for many things that we
don’t even put to use. I heard most Tibetan families in the settlements
have one or more motorcycles. We all know that we Tibetans like to
follow the West. Many westerners go on long bicycle rides to places as
far as Ladakh. So, why don’t we Tibetans get rid of our motorcycles and
get bicycles?,”Gyalwang Karmapa said as he laughed away along with the
audience.Mr Tenzin Norbu, the Head of EDD, said: “This is not
only a local initiative, but part of a global movement. On 24 October,
people all around the world will be coming together to demand action
from the world leaders. Local action is important, but without any
policy change and action from the governments, the fate of our planet
is at stake.”“Everyone of us should take initiatives in finding
solution to the carbon poisoning problem. Doing something as simple as
not burning your trash and switching to energy efficient light bulb is
a good start. And this is something we all can do,” said Tenzin Mewong
of CUDP.Temperatures are currently rising all over the globe
and this will have consequences everywhere, especially here in the
Himalayas. The Tibetan Plateau, often referred to as the third pole, is
one of the places where the effects of global warming are already
apparent such as glacial retreat, degrading permafrost desertification
of grasslands and shrinking lakes.The organisers are the local
Tibetan environmental groups who are regularly involved in promoting
awareness on environmental issues.

Contacts: Tenzin Norbu: 094185 77509; Tenzin Mewong: 94187 97537; Tsering Yangkey: 94187 91168edd.diir@gmail.com; tenzmie@yahoo.com; ecotibet@yahoo.com
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