A Nexus International Workshop entitled “Climate Change Adaptations for Sustainable Development- A Vedic Perspective” was held on August 27 and 28th, 2017. The workshop was jointly organised by Govardhan Ecovillage (GEV) & Shree Halari Visa Oswal College of Commerce (SHVOCC), and sponsored by The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

The conference was inaugurated by Radhanath Swami, the Visionary behind Govardhan Ecovillage, who highlighted the Vedic perspective that the restoration of the ecology has to be done in conjunction with the restoration of the ecology of the heart. He explained,  “The Vedic perspective teaches us that the solutions of climate change lie in the understanding that we are entrusted the sacred care Mother Earth, and that through this care we can become the followers of true dharma.”

Guest of Honor Shri Rajendra Singh ji spoke of how the Vedic approach toward environmental crises were involved traditional localized adaptation techniques which were not only decentralized but also cost-effective, unlike the modern techniques which are complicated and cost prohibitive. He also emphasied the urgent need for climate change literacy and water literacy to the present generation.

The impact of climate change is continuing to grow as are the challenges we are face in adapting. The workshop provided a platform to share experience and knowledge, of opportunities, tools, resources, local initiatives, and expertise.

Among the themes featured in the technical sessions were: Ground water resources, Governance: a role to be played for sustainability, Inca Civilization and its sustainability, Jal Vayu parivarthan at Rajasthan, Water Conservation and River rejuvenation with special reference to Karnataka, Bioremediation :A tool to combat Aquatic Pollution, Exploration in search of Incessant Ganga River Rejuvenation at Harmu River, Steps to save Mahanadi the lifeline of Orissa, Eco-tourism a Vedic perspective, Agro ecological systems for future economical growth. Most sessions were followed by lively interactions.

The conference was conceptualized by Jalapurush Dr Rajendra Singh, Gauranga Das and Sanat Kumar Das from Govardhan Ecovillage, and Dr Sneha Dhonde from SHVOCC, and was attended by more than 120 global participants.

Consolidating the input of all the speakers and participants, which included academicians, researchers, NGOs, community developers, government official’s and students, a four-page declaration was released at the workshop which was signed by key panalsits.

You can read the declaration below.


 

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – A VEDIC PERSPECTIVE

Declaration

We, Govardhan Eco Village, NEERI, SHVOCC (Shree Halari Visa Oswal College of Commerce), Tarun Bharat Sangh and Rashtriya Jal Biradari, Botanical Survey of

India, Zoological Survey of India, Central Agricultural University, Geological Society of India, SOCLEEN (Society for Clean Environment), National Society of Friends of Trees, WTERT –India (Waste to Energy Research and Technology Council), Heerval Prathisthan Kokan, Karnataka Jal Biradari, Consulate General of Ecuador, Mahanadhi Bachao Andolan, Symbiosis University, Mahindra &Mahindra ltd. and Gram Pramchayats of Galtare, Hamrapur, Guhir, Ghore, and Researchers, academicians, policy makers, scientists, social workers, NGOs, farmers make the following declaration at a national workshop on CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT to the govt of India and people of India, in light of indigenous knowledge and modern science, make a bridge and start a peoples movement for climate change adaptation literacy.

Our first priority is to clean the rivers of India and to maintain the quality of crops and increase the productivity.

As rivers are life of India they are to be protected first and no kind of intervention in the name of development should obstruct, pollute, erode, resulting in effecting the ecology and biodiversity. Desilting of rivers and river dams, its prevention should be handled regularly with efficient technology.

There should be stress on development of virtual water system through crops, vegetables, fruits in abundance to prevent loss of excess water and the program should be developed for building cold storages. This can be done on rain fed water needing to minimization of uplifting of water by mechanical systems which consumes electricity and minimize the pollution and conserve river and ground water.

Special dams should be constructed by State Industrial development corporations for industries.

No industries or establishments like hotels, tourism, housing be allowed within one km on either side of the river.

No effluent of however nature or town sewage of solid waste be allowed to be dumped or discharged into the rivers.

Hazardous fishing activities should be banned.

Closed season should be declared during the monsoon being the breeding season for most of the fishes.

No sewage of any village should be discharged on the river side which may percolate unless it is bioremediated.

Sewage / effluents generated by industry needs to be treated in a more natural manner utilizing bioremediation technology.

The river systems should be identified demarcated notified and protected for ecological and hydrological sustainability.

SGWD (Submarine Ground water discharge) should be studied and excess water going to ocean instead should be diverted to drought prone areas.

Water literacy programs should be implemented rigorously through community participation.

Water literacy programs should be included in university and academic programs to educate the students.

Looking into the water stress situation, ecological droughts and imbalances and depleting ground water level, the adaptations for cropping pattern in immediately affected zones should be implemented.

Ground water should be considered as a national mineral resource.

Every year govt should declare and develop through community participation, 1000 eco villages as a parallel to smart cities.

Research in institutes of higher learnings should focus more on surface and ground water conservation and desalination.

All municipal corporations in cities where water is taken from the rivers and other natural resources must implement water conservation plan, prevent leakages and recycle, reuse for hotels, STP for societies for housing complexes and STP for corporations.

Impact of Mine Tailing on agriculture and ground water should be prevented.

Maximum use of Solar energy should be encouraged to reduce pollution and the research in this area for better installations should be encouraged and also the wind energy.

There should be dedicated river parliament to be addressed by the President, Prime Minister, the concerned ministries, NGOs and stakeholders for accountability of National and State rivers.