Friday, 23 March 2012

Skillful means of activism - Sacred Earth

I just heard Dekila Chungyalpa's very inspiring presentation to H. H. Dalai Lama on Skillful Means of Activism. She spoke about her work with the Sacred Earth program, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) project to develop partnerships with faith leaders and institutions in order to protect biodiversity, natural resources and environmental services. The program works with religious leaders and faith communities to address ethical and spiritual ideals around the sacred value of earth and its diversity. It supports partnerships with local faith communities, and religious leaders to address conservation issues and look for ways to enrich and transform societal values and aspirations towards a sustainable future. The Sacred Earth program holds that working with faiths is not only an important and critical strategy for conservation but also a way to bring about genuine sustainable development. Most people in the world follow a spiritual faith and the faith leaders can help articulate ethical and spiritual ideals around the sacred value of Earth and its diversity.

It all sarted in1986 when WWF and HRH Prince Philip, then President of WWF, invited leaders of major world religions to discuss the relationship of faith and nature. The resulting Alliance of Religion and Conservation (ARC) and WWF started Sacred Gifts for a Living Planet in Kathmandu made a declaration with a commitment to clean protected Baghmati River in Nepal. Then in 2005, WWF and ARC wrote Beyond Belief, which lists over a hundred sacred places that are rich in biodiversity and can be considered potential "sacred sites", now an internationally recognized term of protection of biodiversity and culture.
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