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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid