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7 june 2012 001Dharamshala: Celebrating World Environment Day, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and the Honorable Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament launched the 4th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries.

The five-day conference between the 5th to the 9th of June will focus on biodiversity, climate change, and natural disaster preparedness, and is attended by over sixty representatives from forty-five monasteries from across the Himalayas and South Asia. It is being held at Deden monastery in Norbulingka, Dharamshala.

The aims and objectives of the conference are to provide environmental education on biodiversity and climate change, and to train the monastic representatives to learn climate adaptation strategies and to develop disaster preparedness plans for their monasteries.

The conference is organized by Rangjung Khoryug Sungkyob Tsokpa, an association of Buddhist monasteries working to protect the environment of the Himalayas and South Asia, which was founded by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa.

7 june 2012 002Partner NGOs such as the Centre of Environmental Education, the Wildlife Trust of India, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Environment and Development Desk from the Central Tibetan Administration, are also present to train the monastic environmental representatives.

His Holiness the Karmapa opened the conference by saying, "We should all try our hardest to protect the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas and preserve these ecosystems. Preserving the biodiversity and the ecosystems of our region should be like the effortless practice of dharma for us. Our basic motivation to protect the environment should come from the pure desire to benefit all sentient beings on earth."

He was followed by the Honorable Pempa Tsering, the Tibetan Speaker of Parliament, who spoke about how the world is currently at an environmentally dangerous point. It is important to recognize the need to bring a cohesive idea together so as to create a trouble free environment. He felt that dealing with ecological disaster was important part of preservation in South Asia and urged other South Asian countries to come together

With the establishment of Rangjung Khoryug Sungkyop Tsokpa by His Holiness the Karmapa in 2009, many monks and nuns have expressed the nature of ecological disaster and have been given practical training to deal with such problems.

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