Chandigarh, August 3, 2015: US based EcoSikh announced the environmental action plan in tandem with United Nations major Climate Summit to be held in Paris this year. EcoSikh has prepared a 10 year long term plan to combat the climate change. EcoSikh's plan includes organizing Youth environmental leadership training workshops, training the parcharaks/granthis (preachers) to become educators on climate change issues, releasing and implementing Green Gurdwara Guide to make the gurdwaras eco-friendly, and organizing Water Dialogue to create awareness among masses about water conservation.
This was announced at a press meet held at Chandigarh by Dr Rajwant Singh, President, EcoSikh & Mr. Ravneet Singh, Project Manager(India) EcoSikh. Tarundeep Singh Program Administrator, EcoAmritsar (India) & Gursahib Singh, Youth Outreach Manager, Special Initiatives, Punjab also took part in the media meet.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh, met French President during a dinner hosted by the President in Paris at the Presidential Palace on the eve of an environmental conference organized by the French Government and informed him of Sikh activism on environmental issues. This meet, ‘Summit of Conscience’ in Paris featured faith leaders, international development bodies, environmental activists and the United Nations. Dr. Singh bestowed a siropa, symbolic of Sikh blessing, to President Hollande as an appreciation for this effort of bringing people together on this critical issue facing humanity.
French President Hollande has appointed a special envoy to work with various faith communities and its leadership to engage them in the climate change action plan. France is hosting the UN Climate Change Summit in December which will be attended by 195 heads of state and is hopeful that faith can play an important role in swaying the opinion of elected leaders to pass a binding agreement in Paris.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, said, “Sikh community is committed to join the world community to combat the threat of climate change. As Sikhs, we are inspired by Guru Nanak who clearly pointed us to view Earth as mother and water as our father. This message is part of the daily prayers of Sikhs and it is important that this ethical teaching is implemented by Sikh farmers, educators, preachers and students in their workings and in their lives.”
EcoSikh will engage the Sikh community worldwide to take specific environmental action in the gurdwaras and its surroundings. In addition, it will partner with various Sikh bodies including the SGPC and Baba Sewa Singh of Khadur Sahib especially training the preachers. EcoSikh is also planning to present the Sikh plan at the United Nations sponsored meeting in Bristol, UK in September, titled as Faiths and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will be attended by the World Bank, European Union, UNDP, UNEP and various international bodies who are looking to engage with various faith based initiatives on environmental issues and worldwide efforts to eliminate poverty.
Ravneet Singh, Project Manager of EcoSikh in India, said, “The EcoSikh 10 year plan is majorly an action oriented education plan for a generational change. We are targeting the Sikh Youth, Gurdwaras, preachers and Khalsa Schools worldwide to ensure a large scale impact. The future degradation of earth’s natural resources will affect the coming generations and it is our moral duty to act appropriately.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh also discussed the Sikh turban issue with the French Ministers. They responded positively and have promised to have a dialogue on this issue.