COP17, UN’s Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa – 29th Nov.

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.  This project is a first of its kind and demonstrates the possibility of using alternative technology to reduce global warming and curb climate change.

The solar energy advisor; BK Joachim Golo Pilz gave two presentations on “Use of Renewable Energy for A Better Future in India” at the COP17 on Tuesday 29 November 2011 at the COP17 Durban Exhibition Centre and at the NGO Forum. The presentations showcased the India-One Solar project and how it has contributed to sustainable development. It drew a lot of attention from a number of COP17 delegations.. Throughout the presentation BK Joachim Golo Pilz stressed on the importance of focusing on individual actions and shifting our consciousness in order to contribute to a better future for humanity. The presentation was inspirational and encouraged individual transformation, and gave little steps that we can take to contribute to sustainability.

He explained the link between spirituality and climate change, and encouraged the audience to become peaceful, think about the self, others and the world and take action.

To wrap up his presentation he gave an inspirational quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “

You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do no action there will be no result.” Everyone was encouraged to play their part and become more peaceful.

Golo Presentation_web

An Earth Care Workshop:

Facilitated by Ruth Liddle from UK at Diakonia. Diakonia is the interfaith secretariat and meeting place during the climate change conference. The interfaith movement in South Africa is historically strong, and very engaged in the environmental movement. Belinda Westcott from Johannesburg was a participant from the Brahma Kumaris in South Africa.

The title of the Earth Care workshop was clearly the attraction for the group that gathered. Using their creative licence, they began by visualizing an ideal world.  Priorities were definitely a world free from greed, materialism and ego; a world in which all aresafe and secure, a world of equality in which there is a natural responsibility for the earth.  A world free from selfish accumulation and the mind set of ‘I want more’.

The second module required the participants to write a letter from the earth to themselves and it had to be written with the opposite hand to the one we normally use - quite an entertaining exercise.  These letters highlighted the connection between the state of the human family and the condition of the planet.  When there is respect for all forms of nature, then the earth flourishes and so do human beings.  One letter was very practical; ‘recycle waste and water, switch off the lights, grow something and respect all living things.’  The participants especially appreciated the time for themselves to reflect in silence about the things that were meaningful to them – care for the earth.

Quiet Room at COP17

For the first time in a COP conference, this being the 17th COP, there is now a quiet room for the negotiators and accredited delegates to use. The South African Faith Community Environment Initiative (SAFCEI) negotiated this with the COP17 organisers, and SAFCEI then asked the Brahma Kumaris, who are part of their committee, to decorate it. A simple but beautiful decoration was made with a white background, flowers, plants and a green-blue point of light painting for meditation. Sister Jayanti and the accredited green team came for a evening meditation to start creating the atmosphere.

Quite Room_web

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