Many would argue that the world is in a state of degradation, despite the advancements in technology. However, the proof of this lies in the rapid rate by which land is being degraded worldwide. The impacts of land degradation will be felt by most of the world’s population. The two major challenges are soil erosion and desertification. According to the United Nation Convention for Combatting Desertification (UNCCD):
“Desertification poses a serious challenge to sustainable development and humanity’s ability to survive in many areas of the world”.
Currently, more than 500 million people are living in areas that are degraded due to soil erosion or desertified, because of increasing negative impact of climate change.
To fight back, several eco-activists worldwide are promoting “a tree planting agenda”. The Brahma Kumaris own initiative, Kalp Taruh, brings a spiritual element to the nurturing of trees through a values-based approach to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Another of these projects is the highly ambitious initiative born of t
he African Union with support of the UNCCD, known as The Great Green Wall. The aim is to recreate the lost ecosystems of the Sahel region of Africa, a region embattled by soil erosion, climate change, desertification and drought. It is hopeful that by 2030 100 million hectares of degraded land will be restored.
Following the recentat The UNCCD COP15, the Brahma Kumaris delegation was inspired to create an initiative in support of the Great Green Wall. Thus, Peace Drops for the Great Green Wall was launched in June 2022 and continues monthly since. A comprehensive report of The COP15 is given in this edition. Aneta Loh, the Brahma Kumaris focal point to UNCCD highlights the key aspects of COP 15.
However, tree planting is not the only item on the eco-activists’ agenda. The Save Soil Campaign launched by Sadhguru, Founder and Head of the Isha Foundation in India, has been inspiring people around the world to lobby their governments to raise and maintain the organic content of soil. He recently did this in flamboyant style with an impressive 20,000 km motorbike journey from London to India.
In this edition of the Eco Newsletter of the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative we wish to foster awareness of projects working towards restoration of earth’s fragile ecosystems. We aim to inspire everyone to become involved in restoration efforts that breathe new life into our degraded ecosystems. The onus is on us to work together to bring life and function back to our scarred ecosystems through extensive and pro-active restoration – rebuilding degraded areas to improve habitat for wildlife, while protecting our soils and supporting a more robust economic resilience that can challenge climate change. We offer those readers who are unable to help in a more hands-on, practical way, the alternative of serving the environment through a calm, clear mind – through meditation.
Dr Grace Lopez-Charles
National Co-ordinator of Brahma Kumaris, Ghana, West Africa
Representative of the Brahma Kumaris delegation to UNCCD
Kalp Taruh - Tree Planting Project
Kalp Taruh is a tree plantation project by the Brahma Kumaris to ensure land restoration and promote higher order values for building a better civilized society. This project aims to combine the process of nurturing trees through a value based approach and in doing so it supports many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Kalp Taruh is a combination of two Hindi words Taru which means tree and Ruh the Spiritual Energy/Being/Spirit that functions through the body. Read more here.
Save Soil Movement
This documentary was made in order to promote the Save Soil campaign which is an initiative launched by Sadhguru to inspire people to actively approach their governments to raise and maintain the organic content of soils to a minimum of 3-6%. Sadhguru, a well known spiritual teacher is the founder and head of the Isha Foundation, based in Coimbatore, India. Last March, Sadhguru rode a motorbike 20,000 Km from London to India visiting 26 countries on the way in order to raise awareness about the degradation of our soils. The documentary contains a wealth of interesting information about soil and warns us of the dire consequences of continuing to neglect this important aspect of our ecology. It includes contributions from Dr Rattan Lal, Professor of Soil Science at Ohio State University, Dr Elaine Ingham, Soil Microbiologist and President of Soil Food Web Inc in the USA and Dr Johan Rockstrom, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. You can watch the 30 minute documentary here and read more here.
The Great Green Wall Initiative
The "Great Green Wall" is an initiative to increase the amount of arable land in the Sahel, the region bordering Africa's Sahara Desert. Eleven nations are investing in projects as varied as agroforestry to sustainable development. Read more about the initiative here. The Brahma Kumaris Eco Initiative are supporting the project with a monthly meditation event highlighting the role of the inner universal values needed to help with the successful accomplishment of the Great Green Wall. Please click here to read about the Peace Drops Project.
From scarcity to prosperity: Brahma Kumaris at the UN convention to combat desertification COP15 in Abidjan
The UNCCD COP15 (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – 15th Conference of Parties) theme was ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity’ and it took place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire from 9 to 20 May 2022. It was a call to action to ensure land, the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations. It drew nearly 7,000 participants, including heads of state, ministers, delegates from the UNCCD’s 196 Parties and the European Union, as well as members of the private sector, civil society, women, youth leaders, and media. Read more here.
Meditation for Soil Regeneration
This experiential meditation spoken by Aneta Loj for healing nature against desertification and drought.
Enjoy the meditation here.