The Brahma Kumaris Centre in Durban is currently hosting international visitors for COP17, associated exhibitions, parallel events, and participating in various associated conferences. The UN Conference COP17 is taking place from 28th November – 9th December.
COP17 was officially opened Monday 28th Nov. with a welcome ceremony attended by the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma and H.E. Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for the Republic of South Africa and President Elect of COP17/CMP7, together with many other dignitaries.
Two presentations on Solar Energy
- NGO Forum, enthusiastic crowd of 200 people at the C7 NGO forum at University of KwaZulu Natel
- Digital Media Lounge in the Durban Exhibition Centre
The BKWSU has established a solar thermal power plant (India-One Project) at Shantivan Campus in India which is set to reduce the negative effects of global warming.
Media morning at C7, NGO Forum at University of KwaZulu-Natal
On this beautiful summer morningSister Jayanti and Golo Pilz were interviewed by both Live TV and radio on the veranda of the university overlooking the green hillsides of Durban.
Living in Harmony
Creating Inner resilience in Challenging Times
The tour of talks by Sister Jayanti entitled Living in Harmony started with the first talk in Port Elizabeth. After COP17 there will be total six Living in Harmony talks around South Africa and in neighboring countries.
Press Conference – Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change presents Religion & Science on the same page.
Mr. Stuart Scott, Director of Interfaith Declaration, had arranged this press conference in co-operation with the South African Faith Communities Environment Initiative (SAFCEI). Former Bishop Geoff Davies, coordinator of SAFCEI, underlined that in the spirit of trust there has to be co-operation between us.
COP17 Side event in Durban Exhibition Centre, a joint panel of Brahma Kumaris and Maryknoll Sisters
SUSTAINABLE CAPACITY BUILDING:
Empowering Individuals and Communities to Act.
Interfaith Prayer Meeting
The COP17 Faith Secretariat hosted an inter-faith prayer service at the Sports Centre of Steve Biko Campus, Durban University of Technology. Prayers from different faiths were welcomed at the prayer service, and the BKWSU was one of the seven different faiths that took part. Others were from Hindu, Moslem, Baha’I, Christian, Buddhist, and Jewish, traditions.
Sister Jayanti met with Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director, Hunger Solutions Office, World Food Programme, who showed a lot of interest both in spirituality and solar energy.
Wisdom from the Past, Solutions for the Present – hosted by the Gandhi Development Trust/Satyagraha.
Panel discussion at Diakonia, lead by Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi.
The afternoon began with a visual presentation of posters created by the Gandhi Development Trust with quotations from Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Martin Luther King and E.F. Schumacher.
Sustainable Capacity Building – Empowering Individuals and Communities to Act
Panel discussion at the NGO Forum, UKZN. The first speaker, Golo Pilz, set the context of climate change globally and provided statistics to illustrate the accelerating depletion of the earth’s resources. He highlighted the role of spiritual values and the resulting lifestyle of simplicity, and explained the positive effects these have on reducing the impact of climate change.
Research and Independent Non Governmental Organization (RINGO) Constituency Meetings
The Brahma Kumaris are registered with UNFCCC as part of the RINGO constituency. Julia Grindon-Welch and Valeriane Bernard attended these meetings. RINGO does not advocate; it is an independent group whose role is to supply information to COP, indicating how scientific research relates to the Climate Community. 50-100 representatives from RINGO met every other day from 9:00-10:00 am to share the highlights from the negotiations.