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ISKCON UK Delegation to Attend COP26 Climate Change Conference


An ISKCON UK delegation is about to attend COP26, also referred to as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which can run from October 31st to November 12th in Glasgow, Scotland.

The convention will carry world leaders collectively to debate methods to restrict the rise in international temperatures to 1.5 levels Celsius above pre-industrial ranges, in order to keep away from the worst impacts of local weather change. They may also focus on progress made thus far – many nations have already set formidable targets to attain net-zero emissions by 2050. COP26 has been referred to as crucial assembly of its type for the reason that 2015 Paris Agreement.

Although the large selections are being led by governments, different teams can play a serious function too. For occasion, with round 80% of the world’s inhabitants affiliated with a religion group, governments are reaching out to religion leaders.

In the UK, the workplace of MP and COP26 President Alok Sharma invited Bhaktivedanta Manor earlier within the 12 months to participate in a number of local weather change discussions as a part of interfaith dialogue, to assist mobilize communities and temples to take local weather motion.

Stepping ahead to signify ISKCON UK at these nationwide discussions have been Sheila Chauhan, Darryl Biggs, and Roshni Thakrar. Chauhan, who works professionally in environmental campaigns and coverage, created the Manor’s atmosphere committee with Sita Rama Das a decade in the past. Biggs is Assistant Director for the Ahimsa Dairy Foundation. And Thakrar works for a legislation agency and has a particular curiosity in serving to companies turn into extra environmentally pleasant.

Interfaith meeting

Sheila Chauhan (high left in crimson) presents ISKCON’s environmental achievements on the first interfaith and youth assembly with COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma

Creating the COP26 Working Group, the staff introduced to Alok Sharma on ISKCON UK’s imaginative and prescient to attain net-zero sustainable excellence within the areas of meals, vitality, water, waste administration, and schooling. This might be achieved via the upcoming launch of a set of environmental requirements – Three Tiers of Environmental Sustainability – which might be obligatory for all ISKCON temples and properties.

“I spoke about how as a religion group, we’re working towards a whole lot of the issues that COP26 is attempting to encourage,” Sheila Chauhan says. “For instance, how Srila Prabhupada inspired easy residing, excessive considering, and creating sustainable farm communities. I additionally spoke about ISKCON’s initiatives worldwide and within the UK. For occasion, in London, now we have the UK’s first fully-electric meals distribution van. This helps the federal government’s targets to decarbonize our economic system and finish gross sales of latest petrol and diesel automobiles within the UK by 2030.”

At COP26 in Glasgow, the ISKCON UK delegates will attend the Green Zone, the place the general public, civil society, Indigenous Peoples, interfaith teams, youth teams, charities, teachers, artists, and companies can have their voices heard via an intensive program of occasions, workshops, talks, and exhibitions.

The devotees will attend numerous seminars, do loads of networking, and share finest practices.

“We need individuals there to know that in ISKCON UK and ISKCON worldwide, we’re captivated with local weather change points, and are right here to help and in addition be taught from companies, indigenous teams, and different religion teams,” Chauhan says. “We need to share our personal finest practices with them, and in addition be taught from and incorporate what they’re doing.”

In addition, Chauhan says, ISKCON has joined the Hindu Environmental Task Force organized by the Hindu Forum of Britain, which can current a webinar throughout COP26.

UK Eco-Bhakti team

Some members of the UK Eco Bhakti staff with members of the Ahimsa Farm. 

The work will proceed past COP26 as effectively, with ISKCON UK implementing the Three Tiers of Environmental Sustainability, beginning with ISKCON-London at Soho St because the flagship temple. The first tier encourages entry-level sustainability practices within the areas of meals, vitality, waste administration, water, and schooling. The second encourages practices that require a major dedication from a temple. And the third tier contains superior practices for these totally devoted to residing Krishna-conscious environmentalism.

Meanwhile, representatives from temples everywhere in the UK have shaped the Eco Bhakti staff, which meets on a month-to-month foundation. Under its umbrella are quite a lot of particular person environmental initiatives, similar to ISKCON-London’s Project Grow, whereby congregation members are requested to develop their very own greens, fruits, and flowers for the deities.

“I actually imagine that we are able to discover a non secular resolution to the environmental disaster within the timeless knowledge of our scriptures,” says Sheila Chauhan. “For occasion, Mantra One within the Sri Isopanisad says, ‘Everything animate or inanimate that’s inside the universe is managed and owned by the Lord. One ought to due to this fact settle for solely these issues needed for himself, that are put aside as his quota, and one shouldn’t settle for different issues, figuring out effectively to whom they belong.’

“And within the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, ‘I’m the style of water, the sunshine of the solar and the moon; I’m the unique perfume of the earth, and I’m the warmth in fireplace. I’m the lifetime of all that lives.’ Just from these verses, we perceive that Earth is the vitality of the Divine Shri Krishna, and is deemed sacred and worthy of our safety.”

Chauhan concludes, “So if we perceive that the pure parts are literally Krishna’s energies, that they belong to Him, then absolutely we needs to be defending, preserving, and conserving them, shouldn’t we?”

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