Earth Day 2022: Ice from Khardung La glacier presented to Dalai Lama as international climate conference opens in Dharamsala

DHARAMSALA, 22 April: To highlight the urgency of climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and the urgency for  Climate Action, Sonam Wangchuk, a climate activist and innovator from Ladakh today presented His Holiness the Dalai Lama with a block of ice from the Khardung La glacier.

The Dalai Lama expressed his admiration for the activists gathered for the international climate conference and told the congregation that “I appreciate that more and more people are showing concern for the environment.”

He further spoke about everyone’s shared responsibility “to ensure that our future generations continue to enjoy the clean water” or we risk this beautiful blue planet turning into “just an arid, white rock with no water.”

In a statement issued earlier today, the Dalai Lama has said  “We need to take urgent steps to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and to adopt renewable sources of energy such as those that rely on the wind and the power of the sun” and further called for universal effort in tackling climate change and to protect the earth, ”our only home.”

“As human beings, living on this one planet, we must make an effort to live happily together. The threat of climate change is not limited by national boundaries—it affects us all. We must work to protect nature and the planet, which is our only home.”

Dialogue For Our Future: A Call to Climate Action, the 3-day international is co-hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet, Czech Support Tibet, the Tibet Policy Institute, and EURAC Research.

Through discussions between experts and activists in climate change, and with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the conference which is being held from 21-23 April “will explore the real-world actions that individuals, communities, businesses, and governments can take to help restore balance to the biosphere.’”

The organisers have also maintained that the conference “will be an opportunity to highlight the urgency of action, examine the role each of us can play in transitioning away from carbon fuels and put a spotlight on the importance of climate-ethical behaviours.”

Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti, a climate activist from Kenya and founder of the Green Generation Initiative delivered the keynote address as the conference opened on Thursday will see Online and in-person meetings with climate activists, scientists and entrepreneurs will take place at the conference “to inspire individual and collective climate action.”

Speaking about the process and the significance of bringing a piece of Himalaya here, climate activist and innovator Sonam Wangchuk said that it was done as a message to the world to understand the showcase the urgency of climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas and the urgency for Climate Action.

The ice block was packed in pashmina, a local product that was used as an alternative for the industrial insulation highlighting green solutions as it made its way to Dharamsala.

The popular educator and scientist along with his team of eco-enthusiasts Ladakh cycled up to Khardungla pass, one of the highest in the world at 17582 ft. and brought from Ladakh to Dharamsala in 4 days, promoting solutions like bicycles, e-bikes, Public Transport, Electric Vehicles.

He further described the block of ice as “a solid piece of S.O.S. message” from the people from the mountains begging the people in the cities to  “Please live simply so we in the mountains can simply live.”

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