Nature New York Joins Punjab In India With Environmental Initiatives (EcoSikh Initiative)

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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – The Indian subcontinent in November got its first Western-Eastern mix of ecological movements as Punjab, the green-revolution leader of India, launched a United Nations-vetted endeavor on behalf of the Sikh community.

Two young professional Sikhs, Ravneet Pal Singh from Ludhiana, Punjab and Bandana Kaur from New York, started in their role in November to further the mission of EcoSikh, which emerged as a result of a collaboration between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Alliance for Religions and Conservation (ARC) and the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE).

“Up until now EcoSikh has just been an idea – an important idea, and one which many Sikhs have quickly grasped the importance of – but still, an idea. This month, with the appointments of Bandana Kaur and Ravneet Singh as coordinators for North America and India respectively, EcoSikh begins to become a reality,” said Victoria Finlay, director of communications at ARC, which is working closely with Eco-Sikh in its first year.

In summer 2009, Sikh leaders, environmentalists, and representatives of Sikh organizations, including the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), gathered in Delhi to endorse the five year EcoSikh plan, as the Sikh community’s response to climate change.

“The aim is to mobilize Sikh communities in India and elsewhere to develop practical solutions to today’s pressing environmental challenges,” said Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education and the convener of EcoSikh.

EcoSikh is the Sikh community’s commitment to the Plans for Generational Change programme inaugurated by the UNDP and ARC, and announced in November 2009 at Windsor Castle outside London in the presence of Prince Philip and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.

In a communique, the organization outlined its priorities as:

* Establish March 14 as the Annual Sikh Environment Day
* Create alliances with hundreds of Gurdwaras around the world
* Launch a new website ( that will track progress against EcoSikh’s mission and agenda.

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