“There is only one problem on this planet – the Human Being – the only source of the ecological crisis the planet faces today. If any other species had created the kind of problem that Human Beings have created, we would have found immediate solutions. If a trillion locusts had come and caused the kind of damage we have, we would have just found a way to exterminate all of them. But right now, it is we who are these locusts. We are causing this damage by functioning unconsciously and compulsively. So, the solution can only be to make Human Beings function consciously. It is only when the multifarious activities of our societies move into a conscious mode that our activities can be oriented toward a solution. We have been the source of the problem, we can also become the source of the solution. In this context, creating a Conscious Planet is the most important goal, as it is only human activity which is causing the damage.
The Conscious Planet initiative aims to bring the consciousness of who we are, what we are on this planet and what the planet is to us, in an experiential way. We must work towards creating a planet where a large number of Human Beings act consciously, governments are elected consciously, where ecological issues become election issues in the world. It is imperative that key influencers take ownership of this movement to build awareness among the larger population and move communities and governments towards more responsible environmental action.”
The Conscious Planet initiative has been conceived and led by Sadhguru, the founder of Isha Foundation. Isha Foundation has demonstrated success in marrying ecology with economy through a large scale program “Project GreenHands” in which 69,760 farmers in rural India have planted more than 39 million trees of native timber and fruit species in their farmlands in the last 15 years. This has led to 300% to 800% increase in their annual income levels besides the obvious ecological benefits of increased soil organic content, improved moisture levels and improved tree cover.
In 2017, a draft policy document backed by a mass campaign “Rally for Rivers” with the support of over 162 million citizens was submitted to the policy think tank of Government of India, NITI Aayog, which was formalized and then circulated to all of India’s State Governments as a National advisory on River Revitalization.
Recently, in September 2019, a massive agroforestry program titled “Cauvery Calling” has been launched with the active support and funding by the State Governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It covers the entire basin of the 802 km long Cauvery, and 2.42 billion trees are to be planted in Cauvery basin’s farmlands by over 5.25 million farmers over the next 12 years. Agroforestry and integrated farming on their lands will multiply their incomes multi-fold besides improving soil fertility, enhancing water and carbon sequestration and combating desertification and climate change. Cauvery Calling is set to be a model for the entire tropical world where Economy and Ecology complement, not work against each other.
About the Conference
The Soil, Water and Climate Change Conference is the launch event of the Conscious Planet initiative. It will facilitate a dialogue on soil and water management practices in the context of climate change adaptation and mitigation. This conference will build a platform where many stakeholders will come together in one of the most soil and water challenged regions, during the year 2020, to discuss and develop implementation strategies to effectively combat desertification, and address the impending acute water crisis. This will be achieved by exploring and highlighting powerful scalable interventions for ecology that also enhance livelihoods via effective action for the poor and marginalized while creating a positive ecological impact. Further, the potential of such large-scale interventions in adaptation and/or mitigation of climate change will be explored.
Date: To be announced.
Location: Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore.
Format of the Conference
The conference will observe 2020 World Water Day and will include plenary sessions and panel discussions by eminent speakers.
- Representatives from UN agencies.
- Representatives from the Government of India and various State Governments.
- Scientists from international, national and state institutes of forestry, agriculture, horticulture, agroforestry and soil/water management.
- Model farmers who have successfully demonstrated ecologically sustainable and economically viable ways of tree-based agriculture.
- Civil society organizations and grassroots leaders.
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