Posted on June 10th, 2012, by

4th Khoryug Conference

Day Three Report

June 7th, 2012

In the morning of Day Three, the trainers brought the issues of biodiversity, climate change, and natural disasters to the local level so that the monastic representatives could see how these issues affect them directly and how they could prepare in advance to minimize the negative impacts. The conference participants asked questions and a lively discussion ensued around the role of monasteries and nunneries in solving environmental problems which are created by much larger and powerful entities such as corporations or governments. Similarly, a serious discussion took place regarding what it takes to balance the footprint of humanity and what role monasteries can take to do so.

In the afternoon, His Holiness gave an impassioned talk on why we should preserve biodiversity and ecosystems from a Buddhist perspective. Using slides to illustrate his points, he explored the different forms of biodiversity in this world and the importance of trees, plants and insects for human survival.

He went on to list several arguments people use for the conservation of different life forms, such as their aesthetic value,  cultural or religious importance,  or safeguarding the future.  However, he stressed that the most important reason is the same from both the scientific viewpoint and the Buddhist perspective; that all life forms are part of an interdependent web, and to remove one part, however small, could have unforeseen consequences and lead to great suffering.

Following the teaching, the monks and nuns participated in two different games, that emphasized the need for verification and carefulness during a disaster and the other that demonstrated how much increased knowledge and capacity could lessen the impact of a disaster.

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