|Dear Buddhist sangha,
What is the Buddhist approach to the climate emergency and what can we as Buddhist communities do?
As we know we are living in unprecedented times, in a climate emergency. The science is irrefutable. In the last 50 years the average global temperature has risen at the fastest rate in recorded history. Rising temperatures have fuelled extreme weather patterns including drought, storms, floods, crop damage, species’ extinction due to the loss of habitats, and sea-level rise. Millions of people are fleeing their homes and the world’s poorest are the hardest hit. The UN Refugee Agency says climate change adds to many of today’s conflicts.
Eco Dharma is a working group, set up as part of Faith for the Climate and Religion for Peace UK’s contribution to strengthening Buddhist sanghas’ capacity to take climate action. We are collaborating with the NBO (Network of Buddhist Organisations) and DANCE (Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement) and building on the success of recent initiatives, like the NBO’s Buddhist Action Month 2019 focused on climate action, and DANCE’s ongoing actions in Barclays Bank branches as part of Extinction Rebellion.
We would like to invite you to join our network of Buddhist communities to engage with and develop ways of taking Buddhist climate action. We would like to hear about actions and initiatives your community has already taken, your ideas and climate concerns, and what might help you as a community to have more impact, both individually and collectively. Is there someone in your community who is already engaging with these issues, or someone interested, who would be happy to get involved and be your contact person for the Eco Dharma network?
Our approach is collaborative and participatory, with the aim of being a long-term sustainable network equipping and supporting UK Buddhists of all kinds in climate action:
– First, we would like to hear about your existing work that can inspire others, your ideas, questions and concerns.
– Then we will be developing a toolkit and small exhibition of ideas for Buddhist climate action to which we would appreciate your input.
– Next we will be holding a training day on 1 February 2020 (to be confirmed) and we would love someone from your community to participate
– Following this we hope you will take some of the learning into your communities, and we will be offering you support through follow-up sessions
We would very much like to hear from you and to collaborate further!
Please contact me, Olivia Fuchs at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts, questions and contact details. Many thanks!
With very warm wishes,
Eco Dharma project coordinator