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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.