News / Asia

Buddhist Monks in the Himalayas Learn Fresh Water Conservation

FILE - The Himalayan range is seen in this aerial view taken from an aircraft flying over Nepal. In background is the Tibetan Plateau.
FILE - The Himalayan range is seen in this aerial view taken from an aircraft flying over Nepal. In background is the Tibetan Plateau.
Anjana Pasricha
Representatives of about 50 Buddhist monasteries are in the Indian capital to discuss fresh water conservation and preservation of the fragile ecosystem in the high Himalayan ranges and the Tibetan plateau.

Tibetan spiritual leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje says studies show that the entire world faces an environmental emergency, but in the case of Tibet and all of Asia this is a “very immediate emergency.”

Speaking to VOA in New Delhi, he said, “Among particular concerns I think the unprecedented amount of development in Tibet is causing serious pollution of water sources and also of course the melting of the glaciers and permafrost caused by climate change are immediate source of threat to Tibet, Tibetan water and therefore to all of Asia which gets much of its water from the Tibetan plateau.”

Tibetan spiritual leader the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje speaks to the Associated Press about the role of world citizens in environmental protection, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2013.Tibetan spiritual leader the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje speaks to the Associated Press about the role of world citizens in environmental protection, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2013.
x
Tibetan spiritual leader the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje speaks to the Associated Press about the role of world citizens in environmental protection, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2013.
Tibetan spiritual leader the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje speaks to the Associated Press about the role of world citizens in environmental protection, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2013.
The 28-year-old Dorje is the embodiment of the Karmapa Lama and is tipped to assume the mantle of Tibetan spiritual leadership after the life of the present Dalai Lama.

He is in New Delhi for a five-day conference on fresh water conservation being attended by monks and nuns from about 50 Buddhist monasteries scattered across the Himalayas in India and Nepal. He has not involved himself with political issues concerning Tibet, and has retained a low profile since fleeing Tibet in 2000.  But the environment is one of the issues he is espousing.

The 5th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries in the Himalayas began Friday. It was organized by the World Wildlife Fund’s Sacred Earth program and Khoryug, a network of 50 Buddhist monasteries.

It is highlighting problems like desertification of grasslands, drying up of lakes and river systems, and dislocation of pastoral nomads in the Tibetan plateau and other Himalayan regions.

The Buddhist monks and nuns will be taught how to protect local water sources and how to recharge groundwater using techniques like rainwater harvesting. Organizers hope they will go home to create awareness in local communities and also get the message across to monasteries in Tibet, with whom they often have connections.

Tenzin Norbu, Director of Environment and Development in the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, said, “Whey they go back, they should respect the value of the water. Since most of these are from the Himalayan area which is connected to the Tibetan plateau, they should know the importance of the place where they came from, so that they can also create local awareness on how important it is to protect the Himalayan glaciers.”

In New Delhi, Dorje has also compared the relationship between Tibet and India, where Buddhism originated, to that of a mother and child. Speaking through a translator, he called on Indians to retain that bond.

“What is of great importance in the present is that the people of India recognize the tremendous profundity and the ancient source of their connection with Tibet," said Dorje. "This connection is not superficial, it is not simply political, it is environmental and cultural and it is a connection on the level of the heart that is very, very ancient. So it is important that as many people as possible come to understand the depth of this connection and also understand that for Tibetans who have left Tibet such as the Dalai Lama and countless others, India has been our soul, our only place of hope and refuge.”

Dorje says that the Buddhist value of contentment could play a role in preserving the environment by countering consumerism, which he says is exhausting the Earth’s resources.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mememine69 from: Earth
November 08, 2013 12:59 PM
"But Mommy, Google says that in 30 years of CO2 research the scientists have only agreed on nothing beyond "could be" and have never said or agreed it WILL be a crisis so why are you saying it WILL be a CO2 climate crisis when science has not?"
"Because the Monks agreed it WILL be a crisis so shut up and stay frightened and turn those lights out more often please."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid