The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. (Phayul file photo)
DHARAMSHALA, June 6: Coinciding with the World Environment Day, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje yesterday launched the 4th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries in the exile Tibetan headquarters of Dharamshala.
More than 60 representatives 45 monasteries from across the Himalayas and South Asia are attending the five-day conference.
The conference is being organised by the Rangjung Khoryug Sungkyob Tsokpa, an association of Buddhist monasteries working to protect the environment, established and chaired by Gyalwang Karmapa.
The organisers in a release today said the conference will focus on biodiversity, climate change, and natural disaster preparedness, with an aim of creating “environmental awakening” based on the importance of forest protection, water conservation, wildlife preservation, climate change adaption and waste management.
Opening the conference, Gyalwang Karmapa stated that the Tibetan Plateau is not only of great importance to the people of Tibet and the Himalayas but to the entire world since it is the main source of water for many Asian countries.
"We should all try our hardest to protect the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas and preserve these ecosystems. Preserving the biodiversity and the ecosystems of our region should be like the effortless practice of dharma for us. Our basic motivation to protect the environment should come from the pure desire to benefit all sentient beings on earth."
Partner NGOs of the Tsokpa, including, the Centre of Environmental Education, the Wildlife Trust of India, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Environment and Development Desk from the Central Tibetan Administration, are also present to train the monastic environmental representatives.
“Given that natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and droughts, are common in Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas, and climate change will greatly impact our region, we will provide training for Khoryug monasteries and nunneries over the five day workshop to avoid such disasters and protect ourselves from such natural disasters,” the committee said.
In recent years, Gyalwang Karmapa has chaired several conferences on environmental protection with a goal of building environmental management capacity within the Kagyu Sangha.
In December last, Gyalwang Karmapa delivered the inaugural address at the Global Buddhist Congregation’s section on “Environment and the Natural World” in New Delhi.
Speaking to hundreds of delegates from 32 countries, Gyalwang Karmapa had outlined a Buddhist response to the environmental challenge facing the world today by applying Buddhist principles of interdependence, compassion, and no-self.