Britain’s Hindu leaders have launched “Bhumi Project” to fight climate change.
The plan follows a conference of faith leaders organised by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, a charity set up by the Duke of Edinburgh to help religious groups develop their own environmental programmes.
The conference, held at Windsor Castle earlier in the week and attended by representatives of the world’s leading religions, was addressed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon.
In a statement, the Oxford Centre of Hindu Studies, whose director Shaunaka Rishi Das was closely involved in formulating the project, said that over the next nine years the “Bhumi Project” would implement a series of initiatives aimed at involving Hindus in protecting the planet.
“Specific proposals include educating members of their own communities on best environmental practice; developing a Hindu labelling scheme for a range of products and services; helping all Hindu places of worship employ the highest standards of environmental practice; and partnering with conservation projects in India, such as those involved in cleaning the Ganges river,” it said.
Mr. Das said the Hindu tradition and history were replete with stories and references to “bhumi.”
“We want to help Hindus re-learn these sacred teachings and find new relevance for them in the modern world,” he said.
Neal Raithatha of the U.K. National Hindu Students Forum said: “Because there are 900 million Hindus worldwide, the environmental choices we make will have a significant impact on our climate. We must work in India in particular to ensure that increasing urbanisation and affluence do not put undue strain on the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage sites. We must make sure environmental destruction is not the price we pay for India’s economic growth.”