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Buddhist eco-news


29 Jan 2014, Buddhists and Daoists promote environmentally-friendly approach to New Year Celebrations In advance of the beginning of the Year of The Horse on January 31, 2014, a press conference in Beijing was co-hosted by the Chinese Buddhist Association and Chinese Taoist Association. Religious leaders from both traditions urged Chinese people to use environmentally-friendly incense during the impending New Year rituals and celebrations to avoid unnecessary air pollution. Read more here.


17 Dec 2013: anniversary of the passing of important Buddhist environmentalist Ceremonies were held in Ladkh, India to mark the tenth anniversary of the passing of the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche ten years ago, on November 4, 2003. The 86-year old was a long-time friend of ARC and a vital force for the environment in the Himalayan region. His venerable career combined spiritual leadership, political responsibility and active campaigning for environmental issues and his memory remains an inspiration to those who knew and worked with him. Read more here.


9 Dec 2011, report on Bhutan 'Compassion and Conservation' conference released The highly successful conference in September brought 63 high lamas, monks and nuns together in Thimphu at the invitation of Dratshang Lhentshog from The Commission fro Monastic Affairs in Bhutan.Click here for more.

7 Sept 2011, ARC conference with monks in Bhutan makes front page news Proposals by Bhutan's monastic leaders to promote green cremation, put forward during a conference in Thimphu organised by the local sangha with help from ARC and The Tributary Fund, made the lead story in Kuensel today. Click here for more.

22 Mar 2011, Mongolian Buddhists launch 8-year Plan The latest long term environment plan created by religious leaders comes from Mongolia and was launched by Mongolian Buddhist monks and nuns earlier this month. Click here for more.

News before 2011

***** June 2010: The Chinese Buddhists have made an eight year plan to help protect the living planet, which was launched at the Windsor Celebration in November last year. To view this (and other) long term commitments link here.

***** May 2010: The Mongolian Buddhists have announced the first draft of their eight year eco-plan. It will include promoting the use of traditional construction practices for monasteries, providing solar energy to monastic communities, raising public awareness on forest fires, educating young monks and members of the lay community on environmental practices, reducing waste, and looking for the ancient ecological teachings that can be found in the ancient sutras which were hidden during the 60 years of communist rule last century. Read more here.

***** March 2009: The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Drodul Trinley Dorje, hosted the first ever Conference on Environmental Protection for Kagyu Monasteries and Centres last week, in a move that could lead to increased environmental awareness throughout the Himalayas. To read more about this article, please link here.

***** February 2009: Mongolian Buddhists launch a Hanbook on Mongolian Buddhists and the Environment edited by ARC, funded by the World Bank's NEMO project. The Handbook includes details of the Mongolian Buddhists' Eight Year Plan. Link here to access the news story about the launch of the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook. Link here to download the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook in English. (1.15MB file). Here to download the guide to the Mongolian Buddhists’ Eight Year Plan (this file is 4.13MB). And to download the A3 poster of a new thangka about Buddhists protecting Nature, link here (5.61MB).
here for more details.

***** July 2008: ARC has been invited to attend the second China Buddhist forum in November 2008 in the city of Wuxi. ARC will submit a paper by the end of August and will give a presentation to introduce the Seven Year Plan for Generational Change on the Natural Environment to Chinese Buddhists. Link here for more details of the Seven Year Plan.

***** June 2008: Dara, the hairy nosed otter has a Buddhist blessing to celebrate his new home as Conservation International takes a "religions approach" to nature. Link here for more details.

***** June 2008: Buddhists make a commitment to care for the environment on UN Vesak Day. Link here for more news.

***** ARC's sister organisation in Cambodia, the Association of Buddhists for the environmet (ABE) has just put its promotional video onto the internet for free download. The video has been viewed around the world and is now on Youtube in four parts. Link here for more details and links.

***** Canadian Buddhists Brenda and Georg Feuerstein in June 2008 published their book Green Dharma about the links between Buddhism and the environment. This book is available as a pfd download, and is free of charge.

***** Deep in the heart of Cambodia’s Central Cardamom Mountains, monks and conservationists are joining together to protect the region’s endangered flora and fauna. Local monks in the commune of Russei Chrum have joined with Conservation International (CI) in a project merging Buddhist teachings and environmental education. Link here for more information.

***** The short film titled Community Forestry, Buddhism and Cambodia Heritage features ABE's work among Buddhist communities in Cambodia including a new tradition of ordaining trees in order to protect them. This month it won the Audience Choice prize in the Cambodia, July 6 2007. Link here for more information.

***** All monasteries use paper, energy, transport and food: but is the paper eco-friendly? A feature about ARC's speech at First World Buddhist Conference: in English, presented on April 15 2006. Link here for more information.

***** ARC's speech at First World Buddhist Conference: in Chinese. April 15 2006. Link here for more information.

***** “When we look at the world today, religion unfortunately sometimes seems to be the problem rather than the solution. But through this book, Faith in Conservation and others I became more confident and convinced that all the major World Religions teach patience and love.” A feature on The Asian Buddhist Network: a Buddhist's perspective by Dr Pema Gyalpo, Lambeth 2005. Link here for more information.

***** "In northern Cambodia two large tracts of virgin forest have been protected simply because of the presence of forest monks who live in the forest for three to four months. They are there as teachers but they are also advocates and campaigners and their presence has controlled illegal logging and poaching." A feature on ARC and the Asian Buddhist Network. Link here for more information.

***** A groundbreaking Buddhist conference in China has issued two major agreements encouraging Buddhists to take practical steps to protect the environment. Link here for more information.

***** A unique calendar has been published in Ulaanbaatar for wide circulation amongst monasteries, Buddhist schools, herder families and local settlements. . Link here for more information.

***** Link here for a story about how the Tibetans stopped killing tigers for their skins almost overnight - after an appeal from the Dalai Lama in late 2005, who pointed out that killing endangered species is against the tenets of Buddhism.

***** With twelve important proposals ranging from planting a tree for every "momentous" occasion of life, through to offers to fund Chairs of Buddhist Ecology in every Asian Buddhist University, the Northern Buddhist Conference on Ecology and Development came to a dramatic end on Thursday. Link here for more information.

***** The first official assembly of a new association of Cambodian monks dedicated to environmental conservation was held in Pnomh Penh in March 2005. Link here for more information.

***** Buddhists from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar attended a ground-breaking meeting to share their experiences on environmental issues and their plans for the future. Link here for more information.

***** Theravada Buddhist monks and secular NGOs from across the region joined together for a unique meeting to discuss their experiences in protecting their local environments, and to share ideas for further work together. Link here for more information.

***** In a dramatic sign of the recovery of religious identity in Mongolia, the country’s cultural leaders are seeking to identify and document the remains of temples and monasteries that were lost under communist rule. Link here for more information.

***** In June 2003 the Prime Minister of Mongolia Nambaryn Enkhbayar accepted an offer by ARC trustees to be International President for three years. Link here for more information.

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Related information

ARC and the Faiths
Faith communities are working in countless ways to care for the environment. This section outlines the basics of each faith’s history, beliefs and teachings on ecology.
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A complete listing of all current ARC projects