By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 30: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Saturday released a video statement, inspiring a message in the pursuit of confronting climate change. “At least in Asia, Tibet is the ultimate source of water. All major rivers from Pakistan’s Indus River, India’s Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, China’s Yellow river, Vietnam’s Mekong River flow from Tibet. We should pay more attention to preservation of Tibet’s ecology. This is not only in the interest of 6 – 7 million Tibetans but whole people in the area,” the octogenarian leader said.
The exiled leader based in Dharamshala has been a vocal critique of global climate change over the years, engaging with stakeholders and advocating action to mitigate causes of climate change. This past year, he engaged with Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist and noted climate scientists on the impact of ‘feedback loops’ in January and urged the Leaders’ Climate Summit in April to “keep fossil fuels in the ground”.
The video message by the Dalai Lama urged the international community to come together and work, “We should pay more attention. Time never stands still. So we are also part of that nature. The past is important but it’s already passed. So we can learn. Otherwise we have no ability to change the past. But the future is still in our hands.” The Tibetan leader’s message is crucially timed ahead of the Glasgow COP 26 climate summit which will see participation from powerful world leaders.
At an earlier event shown in the video, the Dalai Lama asked the listeners to envision a world for our children and grandchildren who will bear the brunt of challenging consequences. “Of course I am a monk with no children but those people who have children and grandchildren; you have to think seriously about their future. Therefore, it is our responsibility. Like taking care of our own home, our own room,” he jokingly further added.