Need to tackle climate change, Dalai Lama tells world leaders

Need to tackle climate change, Dalai Lama tells world leaders
Dalai Lama. Source: IANS

Dharamsala, Oct 29 (IANS) Just ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in the UK's Glasgow, Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Friday spoke on the need to tackle climate change "as the future of our planet is in our hands".

"Global warming, that is quite serious. We should pay more attention. Time never stands still," he said in a video message to the world leaders who are assembling in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12 to discuss the best ways of tackling the climate crisis.

"So we are also part of that nature. The past is important, but it is already past. So we can learn, otherwise we have no ability to change the past.

"But the future is still in our hands. The damage to the ozone layer was reduced when we modified our behaviour. The world belongs to all of us, so we need to stop consuming out of greed and be mindful of our action," the globetrotting elderly Buddhist monk warned.

"We must take care of the environment as a part of our daily life."

Reiterating his concerns to the effects of climate change impacting the Tibetan Plateau -- the world's 'third pole' --the Nobel Peace Laureate said: "At least in Asia, Tibet is the ultimate source of water."

All major rivers of Pakistan, India's Ganga river and Brahmaputra, and China' Yellow river and Vietnam's Mekong river originate there, he noted.

"We should pay more attention to preservation of Tibetan ecology," he said.

"This is not only in the interest of six-seven million Tibetans but whole people in this area."

"Our life is hundreds years, average. So we have to take serious concern about our century. Of course I am a monk, no children, but those people who have children and grandchildren, you have to take seriously about their future. Therefore, it is our responsibility," the Dalai Lama said.

He noted that now we can go to the Moon and Mars but it is impossible to settle there. "So this planet is the only home," he said.

The Buddhist monk, who along with many of his supporters fled the Himalayan homeland and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959, is the leading spiritual figure bringing Buddhist teachings to the international community.

He lives in exile along with some 1,40,000 Tibetans, over 1,00,000 of them in India. .

The Tibetan exile administration, known as the Central Tibetan Administration and headed by democratically elected Penpa Tsering, is based in this northern Indian hill town.