On the 23rd of May 2016 we had the great good fortune to have a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at his residence in Northern India and to discuss the environment and our work with him.
Having recently created a report on the use of local, indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for climate adaptation, at the request of the UNFCCC, we felt that we would like to share it with His Holiness.
It was a bright morning and His Holiness greeted us warmly and held our hands with such tenderness that we immediately felt reassured and comfortable to stand talking with him about our report and how it covers many topics that we believed that he may find informative and which, could be utilised by mountain communities. We discussed the importance of preserving and restoring mountain ecosystems in order to safeguard the global water cycle and he talked about the importance of Tibetan ecosystems and mentioned that Tibet has been referred to as the ‘Third Pole’. He was obviously concerned about present environmental and climatic conditions and was interested in discussing these matters with us.
The report that we gave him outlines the ‘Sacred Groves and Green Corridors’ model that we have formulated as a tool for safeguarding the global water cycle and restoring water related ecosystems as a climate adaptation method. We suggested to His Holiness that Buddhist monasteries and the Tibetan community might also benefit from establishing these sacred groves close to the monasteries and that these could be places where people could go and plant trees to mark particular special occasions and prayers.
The Tibetan people represent some of Earth’s crucially important mountain communities because the ecosystems of Tibet and the high Himalayan regions are essential for regulating Earth’s water cycle and climate systems. Therefore, when working to restore and preserve Earth’s mountain ecosystems, it is important to include the Tibetan people and their tradition knowledge.
We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to talk directly to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and hope that this will bring greater attention to this critical issue that urgently needs to be addressed. His Holiness gave Active Remedy his Blessings and said that he would look into our report.
We walked away draped in the traditional Tibetan white blessing scarf’s (Khata) feeling very happy and infused with fresh energy to continue with our work.