Table of Content
Green Newsletter for September, 2019
29 September 2019
Dear Spiritual Eco Servers
Lovely and green greetings. Here comes another newsletter with green updates and inspirations.
Arnold writes: It was in January 2009 that we started the BK Environment Initiative. In those ten years a lot has changed with respect to the climate, both inside and outside the BK. The most obvious change is the raise in awareness. Nowadays, people are talking about climate crisis and emergency instead of climate change. When people personally experience heatwaves, droughts, floods or storms, they truly start caring. Especially the lives of youth and future generations are impacted. That is why students have started climate strikes all over the world, please check https://globalclimatestrike.net. The next ten years will be crucial for the future of the planet. Will you actively contribute as well?
Adaptation is not an alternative to a redoubled effort to stop climate change, but an essential complement to it. The good news is that adaptation, done right, will lead to better growth and development. It will also protect nature, reduce inequalities, and create opportunities. Here is the link to the full report from Global Center on Adaptation.
NEW - Video Green Angel Commentaries. BK Nico from Switzerland has made a beautiful green angel meditation video. We now have a new green website in Spanish - congratulations to the team:
Green Day in Madhuban in 12 October
Welcome to finetune your relation with Mother Earth. With presentations about Planetary Consciousness we will go deep into the connection between mind and matter. We will arrange a variety of green conversations, art workshops, silent morning walks and an evening peace concert. You are most welcome to join – Golo, David, Sonja
The Living the change network is calling for programs, conferences and workshops around behaviour for sustainability. Food, life style change, are favourite topics of theirs. If you have organised anything or plan to please kindly fill this online table where information is collected for the the world map as soon as possible.
Climate change for youth all over the world
The Conference of Youth (COY) is the official climate change event, an annual gathering of young people from all over the world, who are passionate about climate change and environmental topics. Local COY (LCOY) are organised in different parts of the world. Our BK Environment Initiative, which has been taking part in the COY since 2011, provides youth with workshops on the connection between consciousness and climate change and self-empowerment through meditation. This year Local COY will take place in the following countries: Austria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Fiji, Germany, Haiti, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Poland and UK. There might be more countries participating. Kindly check here for the latest information and contact brother Niranjan if you like to participate at email@example.com
The living the change network is calling for programs, conferences and workshops around behaviour for sustainability. Food, life style change, are favourite topics of theirs. If you have organised anything or plan to please kindly fill this online table, where information is collected for the worldmap, as soon as possible.
UN Conference on Combating Desertification in New Dehli
The UNCCD COP14 was organized from 2nd to 13th September 2019 at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida in which delegates from 196 countries participated. The Brahma Kumaris Ecio Initiative particiapted with an international delegation. You can read 5 reports here with pictures also from our Happy Farm.
Visit Happy Farm Noida, New Dehli
NGO Conference in UTAH in August 2019 – Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities, you can read about BK participation here.
This is a photo report of the participation of Brhama Kumaris in the Climate Week for Latin America & Caribbean
Laudatio Si Conference
Celebration of the 4th anniversary of Laudato Si and the 5th anniversary of the Catholic environment group CYNESA, Kenya July 2019. Nairobi green team participated, see report
Green Retreat in Malaysia
The Brahma Kumaris family in Malaysia held a green retreat to look at aspects of agriculture with experts giving advice on such matters as Fertigation and Hydroponic Farming Systems. This was combined with reflections on the power of meditation to positively affect agriculture yields (yogic farming) See report.
World Environment Day
We got acknowledgment from UNEP for our World Environment Day programs: “We’re doing a compilation from all the faith-based activities done in World Environmental Day and Brahma Kumaris was one of the most active organizations, and we want to thank you for all your effort and implication during that day.” See this report from Brazil with beautiful photos from many places incl. a Flash Mob.
Ban on single-use plastics in Abu
Good news from Madhuban about plastic. Read more about plastic free yagnya here.
"Many cities in India are working towards a ban on single-use plastics. Since 15 August 2019, Mount Abu/Abu Road Municipality and local government officials have declared a complete ban on single-use plastics or disposable plastics, which are commonly used for packaging, and include items intended to be used only once. These include in particular: Grocery/carry bags, food packaging, water bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery.Very strict action will be taken against those using the above items in any of the Brahma Kumaris' campuses. There will be fines for the first two times one is caught, and then a larger fine plus a First Information Report lodged in the fourth instance.
Pandav Bhawan, Gyan Sarovar and Shantivan have started to use biodegradable plastic in its departments, and we strongly urge all BKs and visitors to refrain from carrying/using/giving any form of single-use plastic during their stay in Abu. One litre Mineral Water bottles will still be available for double foreigners as every year. However, we request that these be kept in your rooms, and you can fill your personal double-walled/insulated water bottles to carry around the campuses. Once used, the single-use Mineral Water bottles can be deposited in a place on campus assigned for this purpose, and not discarded anywhere else."
From Sister Maureen, London: 30 minute summary from WWF: Our Planet Our Business
UNCCD COP 14 Service Report from New Delhi, India
12 September 2019
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Conference of Parties 14 (UNCCD COP 14) is aimed at combatting desertification, land degradation & drought & focused on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 15). This COP is organised every second year and this year the host country is India, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change. The dates are from the 2nd September to 13th September 2019.
Brahma Kumaris got the accreditation as an observer organisation to UNCCD COP 14 just recently, so this will be the first time BKs will be taking part in this conference.
Long before the actual conference started the team had their regular skype meetings where they discussed and planned their events. Also regular yoga was done for this event specially.
We are the only Faith Based Organization (FBO) taking part in this Conference.
The BK delegation arrived on the 1st of September at Greater Noida. The BK family welcomed us all. The members of BK delegation are BK Rajesh Dave (Mumbai), BK John Ndiritu (South Africa), BK Shantanu (Madhuban), BK Swati (New Delhi), BK Parul (New Delhi) & BK Aneta (Poland/ Madhuban). The local BK family is helping us at every little and big step. To mention some of them: BK Vivek, BK Anita, BK Lalita, BK Vanita and BK Raghav. Its like an extended delegation that is serving the conference from outside.
We set up the BK booth which is just next to the India Pavilion. The second stall from the entrance (actually the first one as the first stall is empty for the time being so the first attention of the visitors falls on ours). The stall is quite big allowing us to display all our relevant posters and materials, we also have a nice big LED TV set that is constantly showing various BK environment initiative videos. The posters that we have displayed are Sustainable Yogic Farming (the objectives, process and experiments done so far), results of researches on power of consciousness on carrot cultivation, before and after example of how to change a barren land to a productive land. There is a poster of the new social wing campaign, together with plantation images of women, school kids from various corners of the country. BK renewable energy initiatives are present with information and images of India One Solar Plant and solar trainings.
One of the unique addition to this presentation is the poster of Happy Farm. Happy farm is a 25 acre land where BK are doing yogic farming. It is just 10 minutes away from the Expo Mart of UNCCD COP 14 venue. Its is just like an extended booth of ours. Regularly twice a day we are organizing trips for interested delegates who want to experience yogic farming and yogic atmosphere. The speciality of the booth this year is the fragrance of fresh tuberose flowers from yogic farming which attract many, many souls.
On the same day we attended the first CSO coordination meeting. Brahma Kumaris got accredited to the UNCCD COP 14 as an observer organisation within the CSO community. It was the orientation meeting for the CSOs where various inputs were given on new communication methods like mobilize app, etc. The main agenda point was preparation of the opening statement on the behalf of CSOs for the inaugural session for UNCCD COP 14 to happen the next day, 2nd of September.
There are 5 main CSO priorities:-
1: Recognition by policy makers and others that community led initiatives are contributing to land degradation neutrality.
2: Securing land tenures in general and of women, young people and vulnerable groups specifically.
3: Participation of CSO in decision making process related to Land Degradation Neutrality
(LDN) targets is crucial.
4: Finance must be accessible and appropriate to achieve this LDN Targets.
5: Transform our society to achieve greater sustainability and equity especially gender.
The day ended with a nice meditation and blessing cards at the booth.
The day started with CSO (Civil Society Organisation) daily coordination meeting. We also enrolled for the working groups.
BK Aneta into Round table 1 on Land, Climate and Renewable Energy.
BK Swati into Interactive Dialogue 01 - Value Based Approach on Land Stewardship
BK Shantanu into Interactive Dialogue 02 - Healthy Planet, Healthy People.
BK Ndiritu into Interactive Dialogue 03 - Boosting Sustainable Value Chains for Land Based Business.
BK Ndiritu attended the meeting of all African CSOs. The discussion was to sensitize the delegates to engage actively and openly in all events with awareness that they represent around 1.3 billion African population. There was also statement formulation for the plenary sessions.
Some Youth Forum participants also met BK Shantanu and BK Parul.
Later in the day, Mr. Prakash Javedkar (the New President of UNCCD COP 14 - Minister of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, India) inaugurated the COP 14 and opened the plenary session by addressing the delegates. He talked about how Indians consider the land as their mother hence the UNCCD is of the utmost importance. As in India 29.3 percent of land is affected by degradation due to increased misuse of land resources and forests, so organising such an event becomes even more essential. He feels optimistic about the future because if our human actions caused the damage of climate change, land degradation, desertification and biodiversity destruction, so can our actions restore back our lands. There are representatives from 195 countries present at the conference.
We also attended a side event organised by GIZ on Translating Soil and Land Rehabilitation into Action for LDN and Sustainable Livelihood. The main slogan is “A World without Hunger is possible”. This special program of GIZ is implemented in 7 countries. Their targets include food security in 11 countries for 18 million people to be improved, development of 14 Green Innovation Centers, to improve life of 7 million people, rehabilitation of soil fertility of degraded soils.
BK delegates were kept very much engaged from the very beginning of the day because of the regular visits of many delegates to the booth. There were many interested delegates who wanted to visit the Happy Farm site to witness the yogic agriculture sample on first hand. At the end of the exhibition in the evening guests were taken to Happy Farm, where they visited the farm and also experienced a beautiful meditation conducted by BK Aneta.
We started the day with Daily CSO coordination meeting where we invited everyone to our side event happening on the same day and also invited to our booth and Happy Farm.
Then we had our team meeting where we reviewed our past two days and made plans for the coming days. The booth is really doing a lot of service as most of the time there are some visitors there. Nathalie Van Haren (UNCCD COP 14 CSO Secretariat) got introduction to all BK environment initiatives and appreciated our contribution to achieving UNCCD COP targets.
From 1 PM to 3 PM we had our side event on Sustainable Capacity Building for Individuals and Communities in Challenging Times. As it is a paperless conference, we advertised this side event in all the media platforms being used by UNCCD COP like UNCCD App, Mobilize app, WhatsApp groups. etc. This side event was co-organised by another faith based organisation (FBO) Diverse Earth. The panel consisted of BK Aneta (R&D Coordinator India One), Liza Zogib (Founder & Director, Diverse Earth), BK Rajesh Dave (Executive Member of Rural Development Wing of Brahma Kumaris) & BK John Ndiritu (Asst. Profesor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa). The event started with a moment of silence. The motive behind this side event was to explore the role of consciousness in desertification and present examples of success stories of applications of pure consiciousness on the matter: yogic agriculture, water and consciousness, solar energy. Also, presented was the role of sacred, natural sites in building resilience as beacons of hope and in transformation. It ended with a powerful meditation. Participants gave their valuable feedbacks after the sessions. Most of them were amazed that such a great potential is in the power of positive awareness and they felt that Brahma Kumaris must reach out more with their powerful messages to people. They were very touched by the meditation experiences specially.
The day was closed again with a visit to Happy Farm of interested delegates. Delegates from Israel and South Africa visited the Happy Farm, experienced meditation and felt very blessed.
We started the day with our CSO (Civil Society Organizations) meeting. In the plenary session in the morning, there was a very interesting panel. The panel had Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (Isha Foundation), Baaba Maal (Senegalese Musician) and others. There were 3 interventions. There was a CSO intervention on theme “Value-based land stewardship”. BK Shantanu’s inputs laid the foundation for the preparation of the statement.
After this, there was a meeting of youth delegates with UNEP Executive Director Ms. Inger Anderson. It was a very small group, specifically the youth constituency, with some observers like BK Aneta and few others. BK Shantanu and BK Parul were amongst the youth constituency. NK Shantanu made an intervention and also raised a question. The intervention was to incentivize efforts of youth on all levels for youth and his question was, “What values in the inner world of an individual does UNEP in particular consider to change the outer world?”. Ms. Inger in her reply first mentioned that yes, incentivizing can be a great model to keep the energy of youth freely flowing for longer durations, but the mode of incentives can be different in context of the place and people. She further added that the question is really a very deep one and one must consider its importance because it is with values that actions have any meaning. The values that UN in general endorses are of equity, respect and unity. So UNEP too works on this model and encourages efforts that strengthen these values in individuals and community. She also said “I thank you for putting this question on floor because when there is failure in one’s efforts, it is these values that bring us back to action and so one must make the foundation of values stronger and deeper. Recharge your batteries every day because the task is huge and the path is rough”.
After this event there was a luncheon with HLS (High Level Segment) hosted by UNEP (United Nations Environment Program). In this event many CEOs, Ministers, world leaders, heads of delegations were present. There were youth constituency members too present. BK Aneta, head of BK delegation was present and also was BK Shantanu, who has prepared the interventions that were to be made by the Youth Representative in the session. The Panel had Ms. Inger Anderson (UNEP Executive Director), Mr. Tim Chirstophersen (Coordinator, UNEP for Land, Water & Climate), Ms. Naoko Ishii (CEO GEF), Ms. Yugratna Shrivastava (Global Focal Point for YOUNGO, and Youth Caucus UNCCD). The ideas were coming from every corner to make the upcoming decade of UNEP, successful.
Later BK Aneta met Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, CSO Leader, Indigenous Peoples Activist from Chad and Tim Chirstophersen in person and invited them for an informal dinner organized by BKs on the 11th September.
John Ndiritu attended a Technology Fair presentation by GIZ (Germany) on digitalization approaches to foster urban-rural nutrient and carbon cycle by enabling farmers in rural areas to obtain organic fertilizer from wastewater treatment works in urban areas efficiently.
Later that day, John Ndiritu attended the Day of Action for Land at the Rio Pavilion where the 2019 Land for Life winner and three previous winners spoke and made presentations. John Ndiritu enquired about the severity of sedimentation in the catchment and at a recently constructed dam and was informed that it is not significant at this point in time.
There was a delegation of the Polish government attending the HLS negotiations. They were first met by BK Aneta and then they visited BK booth were BK Ndiritu introduced all BK activities and BK Swati shared green blessings.
In the evening, many delegates were taken to the Happy Farm. After learning how the yogic farming is different to organic farming they were very happy to try some meditation themselves. So a beautiful mediation was conducted for them.
In the entire day almost 50 people visited the BK booth.
The day began with a very busy note. Half of our team, the local BK family was engaged in the evening preparation, as we have invited some CSO heads, important VIP delegates for an evening, informal dinner at Vivek Bhai’s place called “Light House” in Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida.
In the morning we had a special breakfast with Mr. Tim Chirstophersen at the Happy Farm. As Mr. Tim wasn’t able to attend our dinner, but he wanted to see the Happy Farm before he left India. He spent an hour with the BK delegation who told him about all the UN initiatives, where BKs are active members. He was surprised to see the massive work of BKs in all sectors, particularly in renewable energy and yogic farming. He expressed his happiness after a sweet meditation conducted by BK Aneta and felt refreshed on the farm. He informed he would be keenly looking forward to BK’s cooperation in preparations for the guidelines of the UNEP Decade for Restoration of Ecosystems.
In the afternoon, BK Aneta had a presentation on “Science and Spirituality: 24 hr solar power generation” in the TECH Fair, at the Exhibition area which was very well attended. Many delegates from the audience expressed their willingness to visit the India One solar thermal plant and some showed more interest in learning meditation. After the presentation, BK Aneta gave a short interview for PIB India on Twitter (Press Information Bureau – nodal agency for communicating to media on behalf of Government of India).
BK Parul and BK Swati attended a side event organized by UNDP India. The plenary was decorated with some very unusual dignitaries, “the rag pickers”. As UNDP India had a stall that had many innovations done from plastic waste. The CEO , Mr. Sodhi (who later visited our booth) said that the idea behind bringing the waste pickers as delegates is that they must be heard and their voices are also the voices of the vulnerable ones who are indirectly or directly affected by climate change. The waste / rag pickers showed their views in very timid yet heart touching ways. One of them said that “I am not educated at all, but I feel surprised to see how educated people make mistake in mixing dry waste and wet waste together.”
After lunch, BK Parul attended another workshop, organized by Plant for the Planet. The key message was that there are 3 trillion trees in the world, and we all can grow another 1 trillion trees. So they encouraged all to take part in the campaign and contribute to trillion trees plantation; those trees would have identity marked in GPS and so there would be the proper accountability of the efforts. She also put her interventions in the open dialogues where she said that even though there is awareness about the importance of plantation, yet there is lesser effort. She bridged the gap by saying that, lack of self-awareness leads youth to use their vital energy in unnecessary activities, whereas those who are self-aware and understand their true potential, they simply use it in the right direction, hence self-awareness and a value based lifestyle is important for bringing any noble mission to success.
John Ndiritu attended the Drought Preparedness Day at the Rio Pavilion. The event was opened by the UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr Ibrahim Thiaw after which addresses were made by the South African Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries and by highly-placed officials of several international organizations (FAO, GWP, UN-Water, Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Centre, and Africa Risk Capacity). An all women panel on drought resilience that was moderated by Ms Samia Nkrumah, the President of the Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Centre, Ghana with speakers: Ms Caroline King-Okumu, a researcher in Ecology and Hydrology from Kenya, Ms Hindou Ibrahim, an Environmental Activist from Chad, Ms. Lorena Revelo, Vice Minister Foreign Affairs, Costa. John Ndiritu later met Ms Samia Nkrumah introducing the Brahma Kumaris as a global women-led organization and informing about BK environmental activities. She informed that she meditates and it is obvious to her that positive mind power definitely improves crop yield as studies on yogic farming show.
Later in the afternoon, a drought tool box developed jointly by several agencies (UNCCD, FAO, GWP, WMO, UNEP-DHI, JRC, and NDMC) was launched and demonstrated.
During the day, BK Swati and others attended to delegates coming to the booth; total visitors were more than 60.
In the evening BK Aneta and BK John took few guests to the Happy Farm. After a guided tour there was a powerful meditation session conducted by BK Aneta. One of the delegates Mr. Emmanuel Seck, CSO leader from Senegal, member of the core CSO team at UNCD COP14 liked it very much, got relaxed and refreshed after a very intense day and said he would like to learn more about meditation and join us for dinner. Earlier due to a sudden announcement of a high tea organized for the delegates by the Government of India, many of them declined the invitation for our dinner. However, later in the evening, many of them joined us, because Emmanuel shared his experience to them and they were motivated to rejoin.
In the evening there were guests from Chad, China, Guinea Conakry, Iran, Korea, Mauritania, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Uganda who joined us for our evening reception. There was a very homely atmosphere, as there were virtue games, nourishing chit chats and refreshing vegan food. BK Vivek and BK Asha transformed their house into a beautiful garden with love, care and open hearts. BK Parul invited the guests for some joyful raas and bhangra and BK Raghav played flute. Later, BK Aneta conducted a meditation for everyone to connect to the source of peace and happiness. There were gifts and blessings sharing. Some VIPs who attended the dinner were Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, the activist for indigenous peoples, from Chad; Mr. John from Future Forest, Korea; Mr. Emmanuel Seck, CSO leader from Senegal; Ms. Jiajia, CSO leader from China and several others. This was a very special dinner because most of the guests were unknown to Brahma Kumaris before COP14 and this friendship was developed during the Conference itself.
Our day began with the daily CSO meeting. The main agenda for the day was to prepare the final statement for the plenary session of the COW (Committee of Whole at the COP High level Segment) and signing of a common youth declaration by joint youth bodies.
Sister Jayanti sent a beautiful and powerful message for the delegates of COP14, which we shared in many social media groups.
BK Shantanu gave his interventions to be drafted in the final statement of the CSOs. The two interventions made, were incorporated in the final statement that was read in the plenary session.
BK aneta was approached by the representative of CSO from Bangladesh who expressed his high interest and gratitude for what he heard from BKs, especially about yogic farming and on behalf of the Minister from Bangladesh, he extended an invitation for the BKs to help with establishing such a system there.
Later in the afternoon BK Shantanu and BK Aneta attended the first screening of the documentary Great Green Wall of Africa made by Inna Modja, an activist and musician from Mali. It was a narrative that opened eyes of viewers on what exactly desertification, land degradation and climate induced migration meant for human survival; showing both the current despair and hope for a better future. Some of the guests who attended the screening later on came to our booth to just relax to find some peace. One of such guest was Dr. Bijay K. Nanda (Founding Member, Asia Region, The World Bank, USA DC).
Early in the afternoon 2 delegates from FAO, two organic farmers and four undergraduate students visited Happy Farm where BK Vivek and Raghav informed about the activities and plans for the farm. BK Ndiritu described yogic farming, some basics of meditation and conducted a short meditation for the group.
Other delegates who visited Happy Farm that day were from Vietnam, Cambodia and India. They got many of their questions answered, on both yogic agriculture and meditation. Among them there was Mr. Mandal, the retired Chief Secretary of Jharkhand, state in India. They all appreciated the experience of quiet meditation and serving the nature through the mind.
Later in the evening BK Aneta, BK John and BK Shantanu met with sisters from all the centers who have helped the UNCCD delegation with food, accommodation and other logistics. They thanked them for their tireless efforts and gifted beautiful rubber plants with angels, as a token of loving appreciation.
The same day, good news came to us, that Brahma Kumaris will be hosting the official LCOY (Local Conference of Youth) for India, this year.
On the last day of the Conference, many people including the Vice President of Bolivia visited our booth. Some guests also visited Happy Farm and enjoyed the yogic atmosphere there.
With early good bye to the class in Greater Noida, BK Aneta, BK John, BK Parul and BK Shantanu left for New Delhi, for an International Seminar on Science, Environment and Spirituality. The seminar was organized by the Eco Club of Shivaji College of Delhi University. Around 300 students from different colleges were present for the day-long seminar, with presentations by all the above BK delegates and poster presentations by some students also. The auditorium was full with students and faculty members.
BK Aneta showed some powerful slides and brought the participants attention to the present conditions of the world and how one can deal with this. She also spoke about the role of consciousness in changing the world by showing the example of India One Solar Power Plant.
BK John Ndiritu made a presentation on sustainable yogic farming and his research on the effect of meditation on crop yield and nutritional value and on seedling development. He invited the students to come up with innovative ideas, where they could experiment in their respective fields on the effect of consciousness and pure intentions on the elements of matter.
BK Parul energized the whole gathering with some joyful dancing and experience sharing on a sustainable lifestyle. She also strongly motivated the participants based on her experience from the past 2 weeks at COP 14 that the world is seriously in great danger unless we change our ways. She shared with the gathering that she didn’t understand earlier the reason behind people going vegan, but she declared to the audience that after her 2 weeks experience and study, she had now decided to take vegan lifestyle to bring change to the world. Truly the UNCCD COP 14 was transformational in so many ways, and one of such example was BK Parul, who is not just a Shiv Shakti but Eco Shakti, a great instrument to motivate people for the cause of the planet.
After a tea break, BK Shantanu conducted a session on Hope and Empowerment for Youth. He spoke about the importance of hope in life and how can one empower themselves. During his session he showcased a short movie for audience to interact and understand the topic more.
The seminar concluded with meditation, inviting everyone to ignite their hope through rediscovering the self and serving the Mother Earth through their peaceful and powerful thoughts.
In the end the gathering was welcomed to put few drops of water mixed with good vibrations on two kadam plants kept in the auditorium. Kadam is an indigenous and auspicious tree from that area. Everyone received blessing cards from BK Aneta and BK John. Later the BK delegation and students planted the kadam tree in the college compound, thus creating a memory that would provide cooling shade and comfort for the future.
In the evening BK John left for South Africa and BK Aneta left for Madhuban. BK Shantanu met the BK family at Satkar Bhawan in Delhi on the 14th morning and brought to everyone’s attention the lifestyle changes that every person should consider, to make this planet what it was originally.
One of the last days of COP14, Marcos Montoiro from the UNCCD Secretariat, who was very cooperative throughout our whole UNCCD journey, came to our booth to say that we must send our good vibrations, so that a big agenda of land tenure would get approved in the COP High Level Segment meeting. Later he thanked BK Aneta and the entire team for support all along the conference. He said it was one of the most successful ones for them. Land tenure was adopted which means a lot for vulnerable people. He said it was a pleasure working with the BK delegation.
We would like to thank the One, who made it all possible and to share our deep gratitude for BK Asha Didi Ji, for BK Raju Ji, BK Jay Prakash Ji & BK Sumanth from BK Rural Development Wing and for the whole BK family of Greater Noida, for their complete dedication and tireless service during the UNCCD COP14 event; big thank you to BK Vivek, BK Asha, BK Vanita, BK Raghav, BK Anita, BK Lalita, BK Priti and all other sisters and brothers for their big hearts and unlimited vision.
Thank You and Om Shanti.
Newsletter - Climate Emergency, Deep Adaptation and Spirituality in Society
14 August 2019
Lovely and green greetings. Here comes another newsletter with green updates and inspirations.
Time seems to accelerate and even climate change has been renamed into the climate emergency. And indeed the news coming in from various areas of this planet are quite concerning. It seems the change of climate and the deterioration of our environment is exponential and a debate within science community has begun, if we still have time to fix the various problems or it’s too late and things may spiral out of control.
In this regard, recently Sister Jayanti , Maureen, Sonja and Golo recently met to Prof. Jem Bendel of Cumbria University in Global Co-operation House in London. He says that climate change is out of control and we have 10 years time until a full collapse of our civilization. He suggests to inform the public about the dramatic events and prepare and allow them as best as possible to adapt towards the end.
We had a very interesting 2 hrs conversation and shared BKs message that we are immortal souls and a new age of happiness and truth is coming. He liked this news a lot and we ended our meeting with a powerful mediation. For more news on Prof. Jem Bendel you can look up his paper "Deep Adaption" in the internet and "The Deep Adaption Forum".
Golo and Sonja also briefly met some of the founders of "Extinction Rebellion" and invited them for meditation.
We are all facing challenging times and for us it’s a clear call to strengthen our inner resilience and spread the message of love and hope.
From Golo on behalf of the editorial team Arnold, Peter, Sonja
We need to renew the old website - anyone out there that can help to rebuild the new site? Please write to us.
Now you can listen to Green Angel Commentaries on Spotify
Spirituality in Society: Christiana Figueres in conversation with Sister Jayanti. This event took place in London 7th July 2019.
Christiana Figueres was the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC and the climate change conferences 2010-2016. Here she was in conversation with Sister Jayanti each supporting the idea that changes in attitude can create changes in the world environment, from their perspective. Read the summary report. See the video on youtube.
EU Energy week 2019
Brahma Kumaris were very active at EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), the annual flagship event in Brussels, as well as organising a number of events in EU member states to bring spiritual awareness in shaping Europes' energy future. These are described in this photo report.
Bonn Climate Change Conference 2019
These two reports give a summary on the BKEI involvement in SB50, the intercessional meeting of the UN's Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn. See the report and photos – first week and second week
Sister Jayanti visit to Japan
Sister Jayanti and Aneta visited a number of places in Japan, meeting the BK family and giving talks and sharing panel discussions on environmental issues. See the report and photos
Green Service in Polynesia
See intro video on how spirituality canhelp the planet.
Follow the Pacific Facebook page and check out these programs:
Inner Ecology and external world - 23.02.2018 - Tahiti (Papeete)
When spirituality is helping the planet - 12.10.2018 - Noumea
Earth, environment and ecology - 01.03.2019 - Tahiti (Papeete)
Listen to the self, listen to the planet - 02.03.2019 - Tahiti (Papeete)
World Environment Day
A meeting was organised in the Desmond Tutu Conference Centre in Nairobi to commemorate World Environment day, 5th June. Many religious groups attended this meeting and Jyotsna Patel and Dorcas from the BK's, were active there. See the report
Next news will linclude Green retreat in Malaysia and World Environment Day in Brazil.
FLY LESS - Stay Grounded Conference
Listen to Seeking Fairness in an Unfair World with Angel Gurría from Outrage and Optimism in Podcasts.
Stand for Peace All over the world, people are Standing For Peace. This is an invitation to anyone who dreams of building a peaceful, sustainable world for all. A time to take what we have built together as UNITY EARTH and invite people everywhere to join us in Standing For Peace! Put yourself in the frame...
Invitation to join the global climate strikes
In Photos: "Green India Clean India" Program at Central School of Mount Abu
13 August 2019
Divine Sister / Brother , Greetings of Peace!
A Special Program "Green India Clean India" is organised in Central School of Mount Abu.
The program had a motivational speech by Dr. R.P. Gupta, Principal Sh. Meghwal and B.K. Virendra. The program was followed by plantation. Staff and students were present on this program.
Dr. BK Mruthyunjaya
Chairman, Education Wing
Brahma Kumaris, HQ, Mount Abu
Green Newsletter - World Environment Day, Eco YouTube channel and more
27 June 2019
Dear Green Friends, Servers and Yogis
Important - World Environment day is coming close and we have been asked by the UN office in Nairobi to make sure we register all our events on their website. You can read more below.
We also share news from Moringen and London.
We now have our own BK Environment Youtube channel. At the moment there are 10 videos on environmental issues. One new video is from Sister Jayanti dedicated to the Earth Call. Most welcome to subscribe! Link to BK Environment Channel.
From your editorial team
Arnold, Golo, Peter and Sonja
World Environment Day 5th June
To all centers: Please share with us what you are doing for the World Environment Day (WED) and register your activities online. Faith For Earth office in Nairobi has created a special page as a Faith-based guide with simple steps for Faith-based organizations to adopt when celebrating WED. If we register all our activities, thenFaith For Earth will prepare a compendium of all submissions and publish it as “Faith Beat Pollution”. Please also send info on your activities to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nature crisis: Humans 'threaten 1million species with extinction'
Arnold is encouraging us to read this compelling UN assessment showing the full picture of
humanity's devastating impact on biodiversity and nature.
New Workshop: 10 ways to change the world Questionnaire!
London Eco Team has developed a "Change Mind and Heart Sustainble Relfection Questionnaire" to be used at exhibitons and programs. You find it here
Moringen Retreat Center in Germany
The new retreat centre at Moringen, Germany has focussed on being as environmentally friendly and as self sustaining as possible. It has made remarkable progress and has been holding a yogic farming retreat this year.
See the report on being environmentally friendly... (click here)
See the report on the yogic farming retreat (and great photos)... (click here)
The Dark Side of Tulum
Interesting videolink sent by Yolanda Moreno in Mexico for the Green team
Plastic Free Yagya in UK!
A Green retreat was held in Lighthouse Retreat Centre Worthing where members of Brahma Kumaris from many parts of the UK (and the world) shared news and ideas in relation to protecting and nurturing the environment. Some very creative ideas were shared.See the report... (click here)
Faith for Earth Synthesis Report
The UN Office in Nairobi has also made a “Faith for Earth Dialogue Synthesis Report “ (Download Here). The report highlights the key messages of the presentations that were made at the Interfaith Dialogue during UN Environment Assembly in March 2019. We are sure you will find the report useful. Please feel free to share it with your networks. Brahma Kumaris are mentioned on:
page 16 - ex of Life style changes
page 28-29 under Energy, India One
page 33 Cross-cutting Initiatives
Tree Planting in Bali
The BK’s engaged in tree planting with great enthusiasm at Denpasar centre in Bali. See the report and photos... (click here)
Anglican & BK Press Release, 10. May 2019
Supporting UN climate change negotiations to be really successful, as soon as possible!A new partnership is offering reflection space for negotiators. Effective international agreements regarding climate change are now so vital. The human family cannot keep wasting opportunities to make progress. The next UN COP25 must be successful (it is to be held December 2 – 13, in Santiago de Chile).
Representatives of the Anglican Communion and Brahma Kumaris met in London on May 9 and 10 to plan a special program to support negotiators and others involved in the UN COP25. Before the crucial second week of negotiations we are offering a day entitled “Recharging amidst beauty: Experience friendly dialogue and personal reflection, nurtured by the Arts”. It will be located in a beautiful rural venue. The aim is to offer hard working delegates a transformative space of beauty and friendship. Our intention is to help our human togetherness as we recharge and prepare for the second vital week” said members of the organizing committee today.
“We appreciate all the hard work of those who contribute to UN COP25. We want to offer everyone a relevant and transformative space, with all our love and gratitude”.
Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative
Green Newsletter - Happy Earth Day April 2019
22 April 2019
Dear Green Friends
Happy Earth Day to all BK Green servers and readers. We have two new BK Earth Days videos on the occasion.
Become the Change-maker - | Awakening | English
Our Change...can save the Earth | Awakening | Hindi with English text
We have started to work on a new website. It means some time will pass before you get the next newsletter. So, enjoy this rich edition. If anyone of you have sent news that hasn’t been shared yet, please resend it.
Green News Editorial team
Sonja, Arnold, Peter, Golo
Would you like to be part of a project group for Living the Change Initiative?
Together we will design BK’s contribution to this unique
Interfaith Initiative for our Earth. Please contact
Valeriane at email@example.com
to be part of an initial Skype call.
Read more about Living the Change
Would you like to organize an EU Energy Day?
Energy Days take place throughout the months of May and June. Activities and events can be organized throughout the EU Member States. Read more about shaping Europe's energy future and the EU Sustainable Energy Week
World Environment Day 5th June
Our UN day for the environment is coming up soon, you can take inspiration from their website. BK Rural Wing in India will celebrate in a big way this year. Last year over 300 centers participated
Seminar in the FAO of the United Nations 2019
The Brahma Kumaris attended this significant seminar of the Catholic church and various parts of the United Nations concerned with the environment. The seminar focused particularly on the Amazon area and its indigenous people. These people make a big contribution to the health of the world. Read more
Vegan Life Live Show 2019
Brahma Kumaris (UK) took part for the first time in the Vegan Life Live Show held at Alexandra Palace in North London under the banner: Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative.
The Active Peace Project Pilgrimage
On Thursday, 22 February 2019, Valériane joined the Peace Pledge Pilgrimage organised by the Active Peace Foundation in New Delhi, India. This project, initiated by the Universal Sufi Council, includes the explicit study and promotion of the universal values at the core of every major religious and faith tradition. This pilgrimage brought together a range of faith based orgnaizations who shared their perspectives for a better world and a better environment.
Green Day in Madhuban - March 2019
In Madhuban, the Green Day dedicated to the environment has now become an annual event for double foreigners. It was a chance to look at the environment from a number of different perspectives and to develop planetary consciousness. The interview with Sister Jayanti and Golo called "Planetary Consciousness" can be heard on the Jewels Classes website with date 1st March.
Global Summit on Environment Concludes at Talkatora Stadium in Delhi
This report describes the last day of this important meeting and includes a series of photographs.
UN Environment Assembly, Nairobi, Kenya 2019
From 11th-15th March 2019, the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly UNEA4 took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The Brahma Kumaris in Kenya has been connected to UNEP since 1979 and we have been an accredited observer organization since 2014. Brahma Kumaris has a very active team at the assembly delivering our message to all. See 3 picture reports. Golo partipicated with the video presentation Faith for a Sustainable Consumption and Innovative Technology.
Yogis Unite for Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary
Parvati.org, is a Canadian and American charity dedicated to a healthy world. They wrote to us with an invitation to join Yogis Unite for Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS). They have launched the new Yogis Unite initiative to rally support for MAPS around the world with yogis who know the importance of our interconnection.
Need some more inspiration?
Will Young - What The World Needs Now Is Love (WWF Campaign)
From Wendy: really interesting short BBC film - completely optimistic - good talking point for any of our presentations - that we could do remarkable things in 12 years if our love was awakened. As we have always said people are more motivated by optimism than fear. This is a very good example.
Newspaper article about brother Vikram from Mauritius
Dewendra Dookna : Environmentalist Activist Keen on Promoting Natural Methods
Update on Plastic Free BK and CO2 Travel Compensation for BKs
30 March 2019
We are happy to inform you about two new green campaigns. Kindly have a look
and let us know your feedback
Plastic Free Brahma Kumaris
Plastic has become a major environmental and health hazard,
as it ultimately breaks down into microplastic, which can be found
all over the planet. Meanwhile, the usage of plastic has spiralled
out of control - bags, bottles, straws, utensils, polystyrene cups,
film, food packaging and more. Brahma Kumaris Environmental
Initiative aims to reduce the usage of plastic in the BK centers.
Let us help nature by being an example!
- Pack tolis plastic-free
- Avoid plastic in your fridge and household
- Avoid using plastic water bottles
- Buy plastic-free
- Share your experience via mail
All you need to know (click here)
CO2 Travel Compensation for BKs
All forms of travel are among the biggest emitters of CO2,
especially air travel. With one international flight we exceed
our recommended annual carbon footprint. In order to protect
our planet, it is advisable to travel less – go by train and bus
instead of car and plane.
If travel or flying is required, you can now compensate for
your contribution to CO2 emission by contributing 3-5% of
your yearly travel budget towards a dedicated BK travel
compensation fund. These funds will be used by Brahma
Kumaris for solar and green projects in order to compensate
for your travel emission.
- Reduce your personal travel CO2 footprint
- Use environmentally friendly ways to travel
- Compensate for your contribution to CO2 emission by
donating towards the compensation fund
- Share your experiences via mail.
All you need to know (click here)
For more info, see webpage: www.eco.brahmakumaris.org
2nd Report: UN Environment Assembly, Nairobi, Kenya 11th-15th March
30 March 2019
Preparation for UNEA4
The opening of the committee of permanent representatives took place 4th - 8th March.
Pratibha and Urvashi participated and noticed that the representatives find it hard to maintain enthusiasm as the climate change is progressing fast.
Pratibha and Urvashi met with the Acting Director of UNEP Ms. Joyce Msuya.
Click here to download the report.
First Report from UN Environment Assembly, Nairobi
20 March 2019
Dear Madhuban Rosary
Please find first report from UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya 11th-15th March 2019.
The atmosphere is very much affected by the flight crash in Ethiopia.
You can read how the faithbased community here responded and much more in this picture report:
Best of all
UNEA4 team - Sister Pratibha, Urvashi, Sonja, Hilal, Andrew, Jignesh
Green Day in Madhuban on 1st March
3 March 2019
It was a chance to look at the environment from a number of different perspectives and to develop planetary consciousness.
Green Day in Madhuban - 1st March 2019 Gyan Sarovar
In Madhuban, the Green Day dedicated to the environment has now become an annual event for double foreigners.
Many activities took place to refine our relationship with Mother Earth. The day began with a silent walk guided by David.
From 9 - 11am, the participants could choose between four green conversations:
1. Serving the Elements with Luciana from Brazil.
2. Yoga and the creation of the golden age with Golo.
3. Presentation on Yogic farming with Raju Bhai and Sumanth from the Rural Wing
4. Nature, Art and Healing – A Creative Workshop with Sonja.
In the afternoon Sister Jayanti and Golo were interviewed by Sonja on Planetary Consciousness and the creation of the Golden Age. You can listen to or view the interview on http://jewels.brahmakumaris.org/
The interview was about Planetary Consciousness - what is it exactly? Is it just something extra we need to learn, or can we just practice soul consciousness and that’s it?
Which attitude or power would you advise BK’s to practice for a more
What is the main blockage or resistance in sustainable living for BK’s?
Are we caught up in the Confluence Age and service too much? A lot of capacity is used to administer a confluence-aged institution and life.
What role does the golden age play in your spiritual effort?
Regarding the creation of golden age – is it enough to be purified by Baba and study our spiritual knowledge, or should one actively create the golden age? What exactly do you do on this topic?
What role does visualization play? Do you do it and how?
The Green Day ended with a great outdoor Peace Concert and Meditation in Dadi Janki Park. David, Ken, Alex and others played free style for an audience of approx 500 in the sunset.
Please click here to download the report.
Happy New Year and Green News
2 January 2019
Happy Green Angel Year to Green Servers around the globe
Everyone benefits from peaceful and pure vibrations, including Mother Earth.
So we wish you a peaceful and joyful New Year.
This beautiful Xmas card of a deer was sent by Wendy last year.
Global event ‘7 Days of Rest and Reflection’ 1-7 January 2019
Here is some news. The coming week of 1st-7th January has been dedicated to rest and reflection by a group of individuals. You can read more here. Most welcome to join.
We hope that you got all the news via our various media channels from
the climate change conference COP24 in Poland. The BK participation in the conference
and the support from the Polish family was indeed a great success. THANKS to all.
All report in POLISH, link
Some reports also got translated to SPANISH, thanks!, Link
In November there was a UN Conference on Biodiversity COP14 held in Sharm-El-Sheick.
A small but dedicated team served under the umbrella of Care and Compassion for Nature.
Youth and Climate Change
See NEW report from the climate youth conference in Polen, COY14
Br Shantanu from Shantivan participated in the climate change conference for youth in India, see news here;
All over the world people are becoming aware and seeing the fast decline in the state of the climate.
They are looking for ways to deal with this situation. They are taking initiatives at either a small scale or at a large scale. In any case they need support for coping with their fears and anxieties.
Let’s support them to strengthen inner peace and power, and be a lighthouse in a world filled with uncertainty.
Happy New Year from all to all
Golo, Peter, Arnold, Sonja
Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative
Picture: Polish BK support team for COP (incl. servers from Kaliningrad)
finally for the new year:
News on UN Climate Change Conference COP24 from 2 - 14 December in Katowice, Poland
17 December 2018
From 2nd to 14th December, the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) is taking place in Katowice, Poland. It is the 11th Climate Conference where Brahma Kumaris (BK) is actively participating. Our BK green youngsters arrived previously on Wednesday 28th. They joined the Conference of Youth (COY), which is held before the UN governmental event.
The BK preparations for this COP have been intense and, right from the beginning, the Polish family has been whole heartedly involved. For one year, the preparatory team had many meetings with organisations and activists. They also participated in a number of climate camps and conferences.
The BK Team
This year our green team has come from all over the world. The head of the delegation is Sister Jayanti (UK) supported by Golo (India), Valériane (Switzerland), Sonja (Denmark), Aneta, Asha, Dorotka, Ewa and Marek (Poland), Caroline (Germany), Francis and Erica (Brazil), Patricia (Peru) and Niranjan (India/ Germany). Our Polish hosts extended a warm welcome along with gifts and cake. The initial discussions were about the logistics of the conference. They also considered how to create an understanding of the need for hope, personal transformation and the importance of values, ethics and spirituality.
Click here for detailed report.
3rd December News from Climate Change Conference
The official opening of the Climate Conference took place on Monday morning in the Spodek Congress Centre in the heart of Katowice. The civil society was represented by Sir David Attenborough from the UK.
The naturalist was chosen to represent the world’s people in addressing delegates of almost 200 nations. They are in Katowice to negotiate how to turn pledges made in the 2015 Paris climate deal into reality.
He was very outspoken and said: “Right now we are facing a manmade disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change,” he said. “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
Click here for detailed report.
4th December News from Climate Change Conference
This year's Climate conference is about finalizing the so-called "rule book" to actually implement the Paris agreement to stay below 1.5 ̊C (max. 2 ̊C). The countries will finalize how to measure and monitor the promised reduction of carbon emission (Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs) and what to do if a state fails to fulfil its promises. However, this is complicated as many details have to be worked out and agreed among all the 200-member states. This has been further complicated by the USA government planning to pull out of the Paris agreement and Brazil’s new government withdrawing its offer to host the next climate conference.
At the opening of the conference, Poland's President made a blunt statement: "Don't worry. As long as I am the president of Poland, I won't allow anyone to murder Polish mining". This was not surprising since Poland is one of many nations heavily reliant on coal. Along with other fossil fuels, coal has been identified as a leading climate enemy at the COP24 summit. It seems not all the parties understand and want to follow the recently published Climate report by the Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC). This indicated that climate change is accelerating and the window of opportunities to deal with the problem is rapidly closing.
Famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is also attending the meeting and said, “We have a meshugganah leader in Washington, but the U.S. is still in.” He wished he could travel back in time to stop us from digging up and using fossil fuels, as he did in his famous film "The Terminator".
Meanwhile, climate change can be felt all over the world, the 15-year-old Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg said today. The world’s youth must lead in pushing for climate action as our politicians are “behaving like children”. In August 2018 Greta began a solo climate protest by striking from school in Sweden. These school strikes have now spread to at least 270 towns and cities in countries across the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the USA and Japan. It is quite interesting that one little girl from Sweden can have such global impact, it seems courageous leadership can be quite inspirational.....click here for full report.
5th December News from Climate Change Conference
The Power of People
Green Peace is managing the Climate Hub, which is very near to the COP. It has become a popular meeting space for the youth and the Polish civil society. Carolin, representing the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, moderated the session "The Power of People" organised by the Brahma Kumaris. She welcomed Sister Jayanti, Valériane, Kuba Gogolewski (Development YES - Pit Mines NO) and Swami Atmarupananda (Global Peace Initiative of Women).
The panellists made the following main points:
- Common intention makes it easy to overcome differences of opinion and for people to work together for a common cause. If our intention is free of selfishness and greed, it has the power to bring about transformation.
- IT Technology is an effective tool to take the voice of the people to their leaders.
- If I sit in meditation, it brings about change. When we meditate together, the power will reach the whole world.
- Mother Earth is a living entity and we are part of the whole ecosystem. In meditation, we develop constant positive thoughts and feelings. We become like Mother Earth, who is always benevolent.
- For success in your activities it helps to be persistent and patient. The Polish government agreed to phase out using dirty brown coal only after many years of campaigning.
- The collective efforts of diverse religious and spiritual groups has come together in one powerful interfaith voice and they are now recognized by UNFCCC.
Click here for full report with more photos.
6th December News from Climate Change Conference
This has been an intense day for us with three programmes. We had two programmes webcast live from COP and a third programme in Krakow.
Brahma Kumaris (BK) Press Conference:
Visionary leadership to change hearts and minds for immediate action
The COP Press conferences are precisely 30 minutes and are webcast live. Golo gave a general introduction of BK, our renewable energy projects and our work in promoting values and ethics. Sister Jayanti emphasized the importance of our thoughts and how to create the required change of mindset. One participant, a former minister from India, said how much the activities of the Brahma Kumaris were appreciated.
Brahma Kumaris Side Event: Building a Spirit of Solidarity to overcome the climate crisis.
This official side event was co-organised with the Quakers and Franciscans. The panellists were invited to share ideas on how to build solidarity, overcome fears and take responsible decisions to protect humans from increasing temperatures.
Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of the IPCCC Working Group II and co-author of the IPCCC report on 1.5 ̊, said the report is a powerful tool to serve humanity and it brought light onto areas we need to know more about. It is powerful because it addresses how we can change our daily lives and consumption of food and energy. Even though our leadership and policies are not yet fully in place, for each of us, our daily choices count.
Click here for detailed report.
7 - 8th December News from Climate Change Conference
This morning, our team met for the half way briefing. All of the programs and activities have gone well. This year we noticed that there is a more debate on plant-based diet, excessive air travels and lifestyle change. Topics like hope, solidarity and trust are also being discussed more than ever. There is a growing uneasiness for the future. Everyone in our team is ready for another week of action.
Reception for our Friends
This year, Brahma Kumaris (BK) hosted its reception in the convent of St Stephens Catholic Church, quite close to the conference venue. These events are well known for the sense of belonging they create and the delicious food. So, it was no wonder that more than 30 of our friends and contacts came. One participant said: Thank you so much for providing a family for me while I am at COP. After a powerful moment of silence, we enjoyed our vegan snacks and had a lively discussion.
Sister Jayanti, Adam Palion from the Catholic Church, and the Polish and international team at the reception
More than 1000 campaigners and activists from around the world demonstrated in the annual "March for Climate". The demonstration has a long tradition at the COPs. This year, it was accompanied by an equal number of police.
The demonstration usually marks the middle of the conference and is intended to give the needed push to the negotiations.
BKs Aneta, Bishek and Valeriane participated in the march.
Click here for detailed report.
9th December News from Climate Change Conference
Mind and Matter
Dorota and Aneta conducted a program in the city of Gliwice, near Katowice, on the topic of "Mind and Matter: Confluence of two Living Systems". They presented the current state of the environment and the activities of BK at COP24. Dorota elaborated on the power of thought and the impact of the mind upon matter.
The key values of hope, compassion and respect were discussed. A plant based diet was presented as the biggest contribution an individual can make to combat climate change. "India One" Solar Thermal Power Plant is an example of "walking the talk".
The program ended with a meditation. Afterwards, everyone was able to give their personal commitment for change within "A Million Good Wishes for the Earth” project.....click here for full report.
Dorota presenting at the Mind and Matter program in Gliwicie
10th December News from Climate Change Conference
Here in Katowice, the temperature dropped below zero and snow gently fell. It seems winter has finally kicked in. Our green team is ready for another week of action.
Sister Jayanti was invited to represent the interfaith community at the high- level roundtable dialogue “Scaling up investments in climate resilience to meet the needs of vulnerable people”. It was organized by the "Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action".
More than 30 eminent speakers were invited to speak but each got only two minutes to make his point. It was interesting that everyone stuck to the time given. The questions centred around community needs and the necessary scaling up of investment for climate resilience.
It was made very clear that, not only are more funds required to build resilient communities, but most important, they are required to build solidarity.
Attention and understanding of the real needs is required. Speakers expressed their observations that the mood in this COP seems to have changed from passion, mission and determination towards feelings of anxiety, despair and frustration. As one of the last speakers, Sister Jayanti, emphasized the need for personal development of dignity and self-worth. Here education plays a key role and it is the foundation of the future.
Sister Jayanti at a high-level roundtable dialogue at the COP
Click here for detailed report with photos.
11th December News from Climate Change Conference
Earth Day Breakfast Meeting
Valériane and Aneta attended an early morning network meeting to discuss the 50th anniversary of Earth Day Network in 2020. This anniversary will come at a time when we are confronted with complex and critical environmental challenges. The year 2020 is important as the Paris agreement then comes into action. It was a good opportunity to look ahead, to start developing concepts and to begin planning new activities.
“Good Climate” City Pavilion
Katowice Municipality has put up a pavilion at the city market square in connection with COP. It is used by local schools and citizens for education in climate change and sustainable lifestyles. Brahma Kumaris was invited to organize two workshops.
“Mind & Matter: Confluence of two Living Systems”
Carolin presented her professional work at the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies and gave an overview of the current state of the earth. By showing satellite pictures of the earth, the impact of humanity on environment was clearly visible. Inner change is an integral part of systems change.
Dorotka presented the BK Project “A Million Good wishes for the Earth” and inspired everyone to write down one good wish as a contribution. She then conducted a meditation.
Climate Change Demands Inner Change
Carolin presenting in the Good Climate Pavilion
Later in the afternoon, Golo gave a presentation on positive values such as love, happiness and respect. They have an immensely powerful influence on the self, relationships, and the environment. As an example, he took up the renewable energy projects and the yogic farming practice taught by Brahma Kumaris in India; " When we meditate with the seeds and the plants, they grow better and the nutrient content increases"......click here for remainder of the report in detail with photos.
To see COP24 on Facebook (click here)
COP24 9th report - 11th December 2018
This report includes:
- Planning the Earth Day Network 50th celebration of 2020
- Presentation: Mind and matter: Confluence of two living systems
- Presentation: Change demands inner change
- The main BK COP programme: Healthy minds, healthy people, healthy planet
- An ECO reception
- Preparation for the press conference next day
To see the report (click here)
To see other COP24 articles (click here)
COP24 10th Report - 12th - 14th December 2018
After a very busy two weeks, the team prepare to leave COP24.
This report includes:
- A summary of the result from COP24
- 2 press conferences
- Interfaith co-ordination meeting
- Last day of the conference
- Photo gallery from the last days
To see the report (click here)
To see other COP24 articles (click here)
News from UN Biodiversity Conference COP14 held in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt
3 December 2018
The 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 14) is being held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from 17 to 29 November 2018. Brahma Kumaris have sent a high level team to this event and, as well as having an exhibition stand, they have organised and attended side events that have proven popular. They have also met a number of VIPs.
See the report and photos (click here).
The BK team continued to be busy at the conference, taking part in large meetings and sharing panels with VIPs. They also attended several important side events where they were able to share their perspectives and ideas.
See the report and photos (click here).
To see other BioCOP14 articles (click here).
To see Facebook (click here).
Green News featuring India and Million Good Wishes for the Earth
10 November 2018
Green News featuring India and Millions Good Wishes for the Earth
Happy Diwalli to all of you. In this issue of the newsletter we will focus mostly on all the things that are happening in the BK green world in India.
The new IPCC report gives a clear picture and call to action for the current state of the environment. Here is a summary in this article.
We also have a big UN conferences coming up:
- UN Conference on Biodiversity COP14 in Egypt in November, read more here.
Your subtle support of a green conference in the desert is appreciated.
- The Climate Change Conference in Poland in December. Our Polish team has developed a new initiative called Million Good Wishes For The Earth.
Most welcome to join and support both the planet and the conference.
See Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wishesforearth
From Polish BK’s: As part of our activities for COP 24 in Poland, we would like to invite everyone, who in their heart is concerned for the welfare of the Earth, our home, to dedicate some of their time, thoughts and energy to share their good wishes and positive thoughts for the Earth, by taking part in the initiative “A Million Good Wishes for the Earth”.
World Environment Day
More than 300 centers around India celebrated World Environment Day in the
month of June. It has been arranged by the Rural Wing. Most welcome to see the image panorama of the programs here.
Science, Spirituality & Environment
The education wing of the Brahma Kumaris held a global summit:
"Science, Spirituality & Environment – the role of human beings in creating a better world" last September 2018. The exhibition was great, dedicating a large part to our environmental matters. Dr. Vandana Shiva was keynote speaker and gave a powerful message and encouragement to Brahma Kumaris.
Inauguration of new solar PV plant
On 10thOctober, the inauguration of the new 1 MW PV Solar Plant took place at the site of India-One Solar Thermal Power Plant. It was a happygathering with the presence of Dadi Janki Ji, Dadi Ratanmohini and Dadi Ishu
Living the Change Initiative
Brother Shantanau from Shantivan has shared from the Interfaith and Sustainability program celebrated in two of Brahma Kumaris Centers in India.
Germany: There has been an interreligious week for the protection of nature in Cologne, see report.
Wishing you a Happy and Green Diwalli!
Your Green News Editors
Peter, Arnold, Sonja
Br Golo's Green tour of Canada and Climate Action Summit in San Francisco
26 September 2018
Golo arrived in Montreal on 24th September. He stayed there for 3 days and then traveled on to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle and finally San Francisco.
In each place, he conducted programs and met the Brahma Kumaris (BK) family. He spoke about climate change, solar energy projects of BK and the required lifestyle change. He highlighted the connection between the inner and outer worlds and that we all can create a better world by a transforming our awareness and thoughts.
Golo also visited the famous glaciers in Jasper national park and could see first-hand the dramatic melting of these important sweet water reservoirs.
Vancouver was recovering from the smoke of the biggest forest fires ever in history in British Columbia. There has been serious drought in British Columbia, and in California. There have been forest fires everywhere. There was a program in the Vancouver centre and then a journey to San Francisco via Seattle.
There was a well-attended programme at the Anubhuti Retreat centre, just north of San Francisco.
On the evening of 11thSeptember, there was the opening of the interfaith programs in the Grace Cathedral by the local bishop.In attendance were Governor Brown, Minority Congress Leader Nancy Pelosi, UNFCCC former and present Executive directors Mrs Figueres and Mrs Espinosa and many others. Our Green team Elisabeth, Shubra, Juan, Gordon and Golo joined in full strength.
The program began with blessings invoked by the native people. Then,the different faiths entered the cathedral in procession. The Hindu procession was led by Elisabeth who sang Om Shanti Om beautifully in front of the whole gathering. The programme lasted about two hours. Afterwards many of the faith organizations gave presentations of their efforts to reduce their carbon emissions - using more solar energy or switching to Vegetarian food. After the program, Golo briefly met Mrs Figueres, former executive secretary of UNFCCC and one of the architects of the Paris climate agreement.
On 13thSeptember, there were 2 workshops at the Cathedral premises by Golo and Elisabeth on "Managing from Within" plus Juan and Gordon on "Changemaker".
On 13th, Golo gave a talk at the San Francisco centre which is affiliated to the Global Climate summit. He met the local BK class and the green team.
The climate action summit ( www.globalclimateactionsummit.org ) was held at from 12th to 14that the Moscone centre in San Francisco. Around 4000 delegates from all over the world met there. They called on national governments to join forces to step up climate action ahead of 2020—the year when global greenhouse gases need to peak and then to fall sharply to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
The summit was all about announcing plans and ideas of local governments, regions, cities and companies to reduce their emissions. California Governor Brown announced that the state wants to become carbon neutral by 2045.In the whole San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world during the week of 10th-14thSeptember, climate action panels, workshops, tours, exhibits and other special events had been organized in connection to this summit.
On the 14th September, Juan, Elisabeth and Golo attended the last day of the conference to listen to the various statements and announcements. They participated in various panels. It was made clear that we are in the midst of climate change already and drastic action is required. It was also clear that people want to see real action and measurable reduction of emissions now. On 15th Sept. Golo was interviewed by a local radio station.
Our green team met many friends, made new contacts and shared our message "Change yourself and then change the world".
Download rest of the report here.
Special Edition Green News - Living the Change - Interfaith and Sustainability
27 Aug 2018
Dear all, Om Shanti.
You are most welcome to read about the new Interfaith and Sustainability Initiative called "Living the Change", www.livingthechange.net
They arrange a Sustainable Living Leadership Program - an online 8-week Training for Religious/Spiritual Individuals https://livingthechange.net/leadership. Deadline for registration already 20th August.
All the best and take care
Sonja, Valeriane, Rajesh
BK Ecological Retreat for Europe & the Middle East, Lisbon 12th to 16th July
1 Aug 2018
Being with Nature
The retreat was hosted and very well taken care of by our sweet Portuguese family in the beautiful Baba’s vegan home of Lisbon. The participants came from the UK, France, Austria, Portugal, Holland and Switzerland.
During the retreat, we had meditations for serving each one of the five elements and connecting with them in a new and healthy way through sitting and walking meditations in Baba’s home and the Monsanto Park.
On the Friday morning, we looked deeply into the understanding we can develop through exploring with spirituality the story and interaction of human beings, nature and God through time. The participants looked deeply into ways that would allow us to form new healthier relationships with fellow human beings, environment and the world.
We also looked at the true meaning of sustainability, and valued the capacity to make new choices and create and sustain healthier relationships with matter and people through our own purity and life styles. The participants looked at which changes they could be doing in their life with regard to sustainable living? If so what shape will they take?
Sister Helen who is an acupuncturist working with the 5 elemnents also shared with us the traditional understanding of the interaction of human beings with the five elements and the consequences it has both for our health and the inner balance of the human being.
We also had the experience of an Art Activity. Using the arts to deeply discover and explore myself and emerge my virtues i.e. 'The colour of my qualities' Creating a healthy and beautiful relationship with nature by exploring and emphesising my unique qualities. Drawing and playing with colours and forms in a simple way to enable your qualities to emerge. Using your creativity connects you with your inner self in a surprising and true way. It brings out that colourful image of your virtues that words cannot touch.
Silvia sang for us and Claudio played for us very special songs from their new albums and old favorites in the evening bringing a sens of wonder and beauty to the retreat.
On the Sunday morning Valeriane presented “living the change” , an interfaith project Brahma Kumaris is involving with.
Our common home
Earth is a blessing. She supports life and is the basis of all our economies. She conveys beauty and evokes our recognition of something greater than ourselves. She is our temple, our mosque, our sanctuary, our cathedral. Our home.
Our shared journey
Our faith offers guidance on how to live our best lives. Understanding that greed is wrong are called into healthy, balanced relationships that help sustain Earth as our collective home. As people of faith, we are committing to make changes in our own lives. Together, we come to you with a call to adventure on a journey towards sustainable living. We invite you to join us in Living the Change.
1 - Eco-friendly TRANSPORTATION
What: Using a more sustainable method of transport. Moving towards a car-free life, and avoiding transport by airplane as much as possible. Why: Living car-free for a year saves 2.4 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, while each roundtrip transatlantic flight avoided saves an additional 1.8 tonnes.
2 - Reducing ENERGY use
What: Most of the energy we use in our buildings for heating, lighting, appliances, hot water, and cooking comes from burning fossil fuels (coal, gas, or oil). We burn them either directly or indirectly through the use of electricity. Instead, one can switch to green energy tariffs, create one’s own renewable energy sources, and phase out energy from fossil fuels.
Why: Moving towards renewable energy sources can save up to 1.6 tonnes of CO2 per year per person.
3 - Plant-based DIET
What: Transitioning from a meat- and dairy-based diet to a plant-based diet, as well as reducing food waste. Why: Eating a plant-based diet saves 0.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. This represents 4 times more greenhouse gas emissions per year than recycling. Plus, it is the most ethical approach, and also helps improve health and well-being!
During the rest of the morning the participants were divided in a UK group, a Portuguese group and the rest of the countries sat together in a forth group to see how each country would be able to put the project into action.
I have realised from this Green Retreat the relationship between Spirituality and Nature. How can I, as a Brahma Kumari, bring back to the Mother Nature love and peace through my relationship with the Supreme Soul.