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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid