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Nature Sikh Environmental Leaders Speak On Environmental Issues And Climate Change


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Sikh Environmental Leaders to Speak On Environmental Issues and Climate Change In Toronto. Coinciding with Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen

December 8, 2009
For Immediate Release

TORONTO--Climate Action Network is partnering with the Dixie Road Gurdwara and EcoSikh to host two speaking events for Punjabi spiritual leader, Baba Sewa Singh and EcoSikh executive director, Dr. Rajwant Singh at the Dixie Road Gurdwara in Mississaua on December 13th and Malton Gurdwara in Mississauga on December 12th.

These speaking events are set to take place in the middle of a landmark conference on tackling climate change that opened in Copenhagen on Monday, December 7th, 2009. The meeting will climax on December 18 with more than 100 heads of state or government in attendance.

During the speaking event, spiritual leader, Baba Sewa Singh from Khadoor Sahib, Punjab, India, will speak about the history of his home region in India and environmental projects he is initiating.

Dr. Rajwant Singh and United Secretary General Ban Ki Moon during Summit of Religions and Climate Change in UK

Dr. Rajwant Singh from Eco Sikh will speak on how the Punjabi-Canadian community can solve climate change and other environmental problems locally by greening their Gurdwaras. Established in 2009, EcoSikh was created by the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). EcoSikh's purpose is to encourage the worldwide Sikh community to address environmental issues, including climate change.

Jessica Bell from Climate Action Network Canada will speak about how climate change is affecting India and Canada, Canada's poor record in addressing climate change domestically and internationally, and what people in Canada can do to turn Canada from environmental laggard to leader.

“EcoSikh, a five-year plan crafted by SCORE, envisages the dissemination of environment-related knowledge among the Sikh community in India and abroad to develop environmental activism,” said Dr. Rajwant Singh. “As Sikhs we have a responsibility to revere the environment. A Sikh's life is incomplete if he does not revere Nature. Sikhism teaches us to be environmentally conscious and it is an opportunity for Sikhs to demonstrate to the world that we are ready to translate our beliefs into action."

South Asia is a region highly vulnerable to climate change. Himalayan glacier melt due to climate change is currently causing mass flooding; and at the current rate of melt the glaciers will be reduced in size by 80% in 30 years. These glaciers provide the drinking and irrigation water to 1/6th of humanity, mainly in South Asia and parts of China

These events are part of Climate Action Network's larger effort to educate and engage the Indo-Canadian community in swing ridings like North York and Mississauga; these ridings are called "swing" because races in federal elections are tight.

Canada has the reputation for being one of the worst records on addressing climate change. Canada was the only country to back away from its Kyoto climate change treaty commitments, allowing its greenhouse gas emissions to rise by 28 per cent instead of working to cut emissions by the promised six per cent. Canada is also sabotaging efforts to secure a fair, binding, and meaningful treaty at the climate change treaty negotiations taking place in Copenhagen from December 7th to the 18th, 2009. Canada was awarded the Fossil of the Day on the first day of the climate treaty conference for its' unwillingness to reach a treaty agreement.

What: Speaking events for Punjabi spiritual leader, Baba Sewa Sing Ji, and EcoSikh executive director, Dr. Rajwant Singh

8:30pm - 9pm, Saturday, December 12th, 2009
Where: Malton Gurdwara, 7280 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON, L5S 187

1pm - 2pm, Sunday, December 13th, 2009
Where: Dixie Road Gurdwara, 7080 Dixie Road, Mississauga, ON, L5S 1B7

Gurpreet Sehra
Media Liaison

Harjeet Singh

Dr. Rajwant Singh

Michael Bernard
Communications Coordinator
Climate Action Network Canada
(w) 613.241.4413 (c) 613.302.9933[/font]