Dharamshala — In his message to the COP21 International Climate Conference, to be held in Paris, from 30 November to 11 December, the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama urged the generation of the 21st century to take a more active role in protecting the planet.
This December, 25,000 delegates from 190 nations will be meeting in Paris, under the auspices of the United Nations.
“In spite of the huge developments in technology and science, we have also created lots of human-made problems,” His Holiness said, adding: “Now we are in the 21st century.”
“So I often say that these problems which were created by human beings, logically, we human beings ourselves have the responsibility to reduce these problems and finally eliminate these problems.,” His Holiness said in his video message to the conference.
“We ourselves have created these problems but we rely on praying to God or to Buddha, for solution. This I think is a little bit illogical. These problems are our creation, so we cannot seek a solution to these problems from above,” the spiritual leader said.
“Now, on top of these man-made problems, we have climate change and environment problems. I think, to some extent, the position of the whole galaxy is changing. As a result, the position of our own planet, this blue planet is also changing, and thereby the sun’s own situation is also changing. I think this is also in some way related to the environment.
Moreover, according to experts, we human beings are also responsible for the change in weather conditions and global warming. Hence, this is not a question of one nation or two nations. This is a question of humanity affecting the whole world.
Our world is our only home. If this blue planet, due to global warming or some other sort of environmental problem, can not sustain itself, then there is no other planet where we can move or shift to.
So this is our only home. Therefore, you see, we have to take serious concern about the protection of the environment and also serious concern about global warming.
In this respect, I always say, Tibet is usually called the Roof of the World. According to some experts, because of Tibet’s high altitude and dry climate, if its ecology is damaged, it takes a much longer time to recover. Therefore, the environmental situation in such an area is very very delicate. Many Indian environmental experts also told me the same thing.
Some Chinese environmentalists have described Tibet or the Tibetan Plateau as the Third Pole, because the impact of the Tibetan plateau on global warming is as much as the south pole and the north pole. So they described Tibet as a Third Pole.
These are not political statements but rather the findings of experts and scientists. So therefore, you see, this is not something concerned only with the Tibetan people. This concerns over a billion human lives, including mainland China. And also the southern areas of Himalaya, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and then India.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that “over a billion people depend on these rivers which flow from Tibet through China to south Asia. Therefore, you see, the protection, or serious concern towards the protection of Tibet’s environment is not only concerned with the people of a particular area but a larger number of people in this part of the world.”
“And then also, some experts say, the ecological condition of the Tibetan Plateau also affects other parts of the world. So therefore, it’s something very very important. That’s what I want to share. So these are not a political matter or a religious matter. These are ultimately related to the survival of humanity, or question of a healthy world, healthy planet.
So this is what I want to tell you. And then as I mentioned earlier, environment is the responsibility of the entire humanity. Then among the human beings, the older generation, usually I describe as the generation of 20th century, we are almost fading, including myself.
So now generation of the 21st century, young brothers and sisters, you should take a more active role in protecting this planet, including Tibet’s environment. That’s what I want to share with you.”