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EcoSikh Issues First Sikh Statement on Climate Change

September 18, 2014:

WASHINGTON, DC - The Washington-based environmental organization, EcoSikh has released a statement on climate change from the Sikh perspective, the first of its kind from a Sikh organization. The statement outlines new actions Sikhs can take to strengthen their connection to the Sikh faith through environmentalism, and expand their political voice within their communities. This statement comes days before EcoSikh and various heads of state from all over the world will convene in New York City for the 2014 U.N. Climate Summit, on September 23.

"We want to inspire the Sikh community to take concrete action against climate change. Sikhs have a long history of standing up for the vulnerable, and as the world faces serious environmental security challenges, Sikhs must be poised to act," said EcoSikh North America Program Manager, Sumeet Kaur.

The statement aims to connect environmental preservation with the teachings of the Sikh gurus - a regular goal for this organization.

"The Sikh Gurus referred to the Earth as a 'Dharamsaal,' a place where union with the Divine is attained. Guru Nanak describes this in Jap Ji Sahib, that amid the rhythms of Creation, the changing seasons, air, water, the Creator established the Earth as the home for humans to realize their Divinity in this world," said EcoSikh Ambassador, Bandana Kaur. She added She added, "Our once thriving croplands, grasslands, forests, wetlands, and rivers, have become unrecognizable today. Due to unchecked demand on resources, coupled with climate change, we are seeing some of the greatest damage to soil, land, water systems and biodiversity in human history."

Sikhs in Washington protesting for action on climate change
EcoSikh urges Sikhs to take action with this statement, to reverse the deleterious effects climate change has had on the earth.

"The first Sikh statement on climate change will be the catalyst for Sikhs to take real actions against climate change," said EcoSikh President, Dr. Rajwant Singh. "As we see our homelands deteriorate in front of us, we must realize what is happening to our earth and do something."

The statement begins with a line from the Guru Granth Sahib, which explains how all Creation is connected:

”You, Yourself created the Universe, and You are pleased...You, Yourself the bumblebee, flower, fruit and the tree. You, Yourself the water, desert, ocean and the pond. You, Yourself are the big fish, tortoise and the Cause of causes”

(Guru Granth Sahib, Maru Sohele, 1020).

EcoSikh has also led several efforts this past year to engage Sikhs in environmental advocacy. Since March 2011, EcoSikh has been hosting Sikh Environmental Day, which is now celebrated by more than 2,000 Sikh institutions around the world. The day has become an annual event of education, action, and reflection.

Useful links

Sikh Statement on Climate Change

EcoSikh

UN Climate Summit 2014

Sikh Statement on the environment



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