The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 6
UN Climate Conference (COP16) Cancun, Nov 29 – Dec  10, 2010


According to this page:

COP16 is the official name of the Cancun summit, which is the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP is the highest body of the UNFCCC and comprises environment ministers from 192 countries who have met once a year since the 1992 Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Once again, the UN brought together many “faith traditions” in the spirit of Religious Syncretism and Interfaith Dreams.

And.

They.

Just.

Won’t.

Ever.

Stop.

Not until Christianity has been blended together with every religion and turned into “harmless” and powerless New Age sludge.

Here are all of the COP16 examples of religion or “spirituality” that I’ve been able to find:
======================================

Let’s start with the single best example and the one that most conservatives will already be familiar with: the invoking of Ixchel.

an article from November 29, 2010 in the Washington Post:

Cancun talks start with a call to the gods
By Juliet Eilperin

With United Nations climate negotiators facing an uphill battle to advance their goal of reducing emissions linked to global warming, it’s no surprise that the woman steering the talks appealed to a Mayan goddess Monday.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also “the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you — because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools.”

She called for “a balanced outcome” which would marry financial and emissions commitments from industrialized countries aimed at combating climate change with “the understanding of fairness that will guide long-term mitigation efforts.”

Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful interlacing of many threads,” said Figueres, who hails from Costa Rica and started her greetings in Spanish before switching to English. “I am convinced that 20 years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel.”

[...]

Two weeks from now, we’ll have a sense of whether Ixchel — and the delegates — were listening to Figueres’s appeal.

from the article’s photo caption:

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres places a building block in a miniature Mayan pyramid at the site of climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010. The “Pyramid of Hope” monument was erected by the TckTckTck climate awareness campaign to symbolize the many building blocks needed for a new climate agreement.

I don’t think the transcript of her speech has been widely seen. You can find it at this page.

here are a couple of snippets:

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to COP16, welcome to CMP6! Welcome to the land of the ancient Mayan goddess Ixchel!

Next to being the goddess of the moon, Ixchel was also the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you – because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools.

Weaving this tapestry is urgent. [...]

Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful interlacing of many threads. I am convinced that 20 years from now we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of the goddess Ixchel.

Thank you.”

Moving on… Here is a youtube video featuring Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma and herPrayer for the United Nations

the youtube caption says:

There is hope in communities, in resiliency, in the commons, making sure that power can be exerted at the place where people live, there’s hope from the Peoples Summit on Climate Change in Cochabamba, who developed the declaration of mother earth rights. ~ Third World Network, COP 16 Climate Summit, Cancun, Mexico

Yes, the Gaia crew was represented mightily at COP16.

Here is her prayer transcribed:

Great Spirit Earth Motherwe come to you at this time… we’re looking into each of the directions… each of the six directions… to the west… to the north… to the east… to the south… above and below… and we’re asking at this time, this place, this one called the Moon Palace… to me that is representative of the woman and the Woman Power that lives on Mother Earth… lives above Mother Earth… We’re asking at this time, that this United Nations grow ears to listen to the wisdom of the Indigenous People… we’re asking at this time that the United Nations opens its eyes… to be able to see the destruction that is happening to our Mother Earth… to the air and to the waters… and that through those eyes they be able to see that the solutions lie within the hearts, the minds, and the spirits of the Indigenous People… We’re asking that the United Nations open its heart so that this heart can receive the blessings and the understandings of the Creator and the Earth Mother… so that the United Nations will understand how to go forward in a way that is harmonic with All That Is… We’re asking that the United Nations, which is the spirit of all of our Nations within the Nations… be able to hear, see, feel, and implement the necessity to heal our Mother Earth… so that we may all continue in this Sacred Way

We wanna make a special prayer for the Indigenous Peoples… Each and every one representing their places… their ways of life… so that when they go back home, they’re gonna find a good way to live… the way that they should be able to live… on Mother Earthand we’re asking for guidancefor the brains of these people who believe that they are our leaders… that they may truly look at the leaders of this Mother Earth… those of us empowered through our natural laws… that we follow… for all these things in all directions… we’re asking for help and health for all of our relations…

The irrepressible documentarian Velcrow Ripper had this to say about Casey Camp-Horinek and her prayer:

First Nations People have a strong presence in the movement building around the summit, but inside the halls of power they must fight to be heard. This morning a group from the Indigenous Environmental Network did a powerful action calling attention to the Alberta Tar Sands, one of the world’s single largest contributors to climate change. A few hours later, a group of indigenous representatives from around the world gathered in front of the Moon Palace in a moving ceremony, demanding that the United Nations to listen to their voices, to include them at the table, to recognize that their wisdom is needed.

Casey Camp-Horinek, from the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma, dressed in turquoise blue, finished with a prayer, which in part said, “We’re asking at this time that this United Nations grow ears to listen to the wisdom of the indigenous people. We’re asking at this time that the United Nations opens it’s eyes to be able to see the destruction that is happening to our mother earth, to the air and to the waters, and through those eyes that they be able to see that the solutions lie within the hearts and the minds and the spirits of the indigenous people. We’re asking that the United Nations open it’s heart, so that this heart can receive the blessings and the understandings of the creator and the earth mother, so that the United Nations will understand how to go forward in a way that is harmonic with all that is.”

My prayer is that we all open our hearts, that we learn that the heart is as important as the head, and that we bring them into harmony, so we can call upon our fullness to address this unprecedented crisis. We’re going to need everyone at the table, from the scientists to the indigenous peoples, from the negotiators to the activists, from the young to the old, from the rich to the poor, acting together, in harmony, to solve this problem.

Interfaithism on November 30th:

Far from the conference center on the Plaza De La Reforma, in front of Cancun’s city hall, residents of this city yesterday joined together to say a prayer for the earth (Una Oracion Por La Tierra) and prayer for a successful outcome of the talks they are hosting.

It was an inspiring scene. More than 20 churches of all denominations, and Jews and Muslims too, joined together for the 4-hour event, each group coming up to the stage to say (or sing) their hopes for the global climate system. By my estimate there were some 200 people there in the plaza, and this week they are joined with prayers in churches all over the world, from China to the Canada, and Nicaragua to France. Some 5,000 people are set to participate overall.

The prayer was largely organized by students and churches in Cancun. Almaiza Muñoz, one of the organizers who will attend university soon, told me that at first, many Cancun residents and media were more interested in the business opportunities brought by the conference’s 1,000s of attendees. They also remembered the tear gas sprayed during a World Bank meeting here a few years ago, and so were antsy about security measures. [...]

The event illustrated the power of the faith community to bring an audience that might not otherwise attend an environmental rally, and why the work that 350.org is doing to bring together these disparate threads of a nascent climate movement is crucial.

from the twitter feed of Elizabeth May, the Leader of the Green Party in Canada:

Opening w/ cultural spectacle. Aztec-like costumed dancers- calls to Mother Earth. COP11 had Bruce Cockburn. #COP16 #tcktcktck #GPC

blog post from Moravian College:

At the municipal government building plaza last night, there was an inter-denominational prayer ceremony for the planet (no separation of church and state here). Everyone was dressed in white which led to a very serene atmosphere. There was song, and dance, and prayer — a peaceful call for the negotiators to “do what is right”. It was really quite an amazing event attended mostly by locals.

another one from Moravian College:

Opening Ceremonies and Sacred Dances

The opening ceremonies for the high-level segment included an opening ritual as seen in the photos. Just over 100 tickets were distributed to the civil society observers, so we, like most, watched the event on the screens. Now, however, all of the high-level ministerial statements are in an open plenary and it is possible to go in and watch each country’s spokesperson make his or her statement in person. These statements are all online at: http://webcast.cc2010.mx/webmedia_en.html?id=181.

According to this official UN pdf (page 21), there were a couple of Meditation rooms at COP16:

Meditation room
On-site facilities for prayer and meditation include the Meditation Room” in Cancunmesse (Hall D) as well as theMeditation Garden” which is located next to the beach, stretching between Maya (Sunrise) and Nizuc Media Center.

from: “An Ignatian Blog on Worldwide Environmental Challenges”:

There was another aspect of the meditation room which intrigued me. There were no chairs. It would appear that those who arranged the meditation room believed that meditation is primarily for the Asian religious traditions, where people can squat in lotus-like postures on the ground for long periods of time. Almost 30 years ago, I spent six weeks in an Ashram in Southern India and had no problem sitting on the ground as I had been used to that position during the Eucharist at the small chapel in Mindanao State University in Marawi City where I was assigned at the time. But time has taken its toll on my lower back and hips which means even the half-lotus position is no longer possible. Now any meditating I do is sitting upright in a chair. So, I felt discriminated again by those who organised the mediation room. Yes, in terms of ideas, it is very good one, but in terms of getting it right for every potential user, I would reluctantly have to fail them. Maybe this is a metaphor for the whole COP.

here’s an article from ISKCON News: which is The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness:

UN Invites Hungary’s Eco Valley Foundation to Attend COP16

The Eco-Valley Foundation and Sustainability Sciences Research Institute—a non-profit organization run by ISKCON devotees in Hungary—received an invitation from the United Nations this September 20th for the COP16 Climate Summit from November 29th to December 10th in Cancun, Mexico.

The Eco-Valley Foundation (EVF) collects and propagates knowledge about economic, environmental and social issues, and helps people to start and maintain sustainable communities.

Chairman Radha Krishna Dasa is also part of Hungary’s most successful eco-village—ISKCON’s Krishna Valley.

According to the Krishna Valley website:

On the range of the farm live nearly onehundredfifty Krisna believer, they are concerned with organic farming, which is based on the ancient vedic scriptures,that is the vedas, seeking self-preservation. We welcome our visitors on every day of the year from am 10:00-till 17:00 pm and provide guide for you on the area of the building of the temple, where you can be participant at cultural programs in the matchless beauty indian sanctuary, you can visit our restaurant offering special delicacy and our oriental style souvenir shop.

Our waaay-leftist friends at indymedia had this to say:

A Caravan consisting of more than 400 members from the State of Chiapas belonging to the National Social Justice Movement, La Otra Campaigna, was prevented from entering the sacred Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza, declared one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is a UNESCO World Heritage Sight.

La Otra Campaigna attempted to hold Mayan prayer ceremonies in the temples of their ancestors with members of several Indigenous nations from multiple countries including Canada, Guatemala and the United States Friday night.

The caravan was denied entry into the park when they arrived at 6pm on Dec. 3 due to a nightly tourist light show that was being set up.

As an expression of religious freedom Caravan members did not pay what would have been a collective entrance fee of at least $1,400 Dollars or four $USD per person to enter their religious site. [...]

Speakers from Indigenous Nations rallied the crowd, performed a spiritual ceremony and sang.

Here’s a youtube video about that incident.

Last year at COP15 in Copenhagen, something called the KlimaForum was started to “give a voice to the voiceless”… the regular people who weren’t an official part of the UN. They decided to hold it again this year.

One of this year’s Klimaforum participants, who made a presentation, was a member of the Gaia cult:

Elliott Saxby, resident of Findhorn ecovillage in Scotland, instructor of Gaia Education Associates, and member of NextGEN

Event Information:

Dates: Wednesdays, December 1 and 8, 2010
Time: 10-12.00
Room: Main auditorium (seating capacity of 300 persons)
Venue: Klimaforum

GEN will also be participating in Agriculture and Rural Development Day, Saturday, December 4, and at the Side Event at Cancun Messe Friday night on the mitigation potential for global agricultural systems and soils.

Gaia Education” has a curriculum, here, which reads in part:

By all indications, according to the writing and thinking of so many, those of us in the West are in the midst of a paradigm shift today – a new worldview is indeed emerging, a worldview that is complementing and merging with long-held philosophies of the world’s wisdom traditions. This new worldview, this evolution in consciousness, will prove to be of unprecedented and unparalleled proportions because of the unifying effects of cultural globalization. We can now experience humanity as one big family, one people, an earthly unity; and similarly, we can experience our planetary home, as revealed from photos taken by astronauts, as a living, respirating super-organism – Gaia. The new worldview is being defined as an evolution from mechanistic to holistic, or from material to spiritual, interpretations about the nature of reality: Consciousness precedes physicality; ideas create form. The purpose of the Worldview dimension of the EDE, therefore, is to articulate the parameters of this evolution as it pertains to the design and implementation of sustainable community models.

Spirit, the Great Mystery, the Absolute – whatever your preference – is enigmatic and infinite, ineffable, yet everywhere and within everything. Countless are the names of the Divine, the spiritual practices and religious beliefs that exist on this small planet. The Unity loves variety. Therefore, it is not our purpose as ecovillage designers to define, much less prescribe, personal or group spirituality. Rather, we are privileged to simply facilitate an ongoing exploration of spiritual realms – individually, collectively, and syncretically. We engage ourselves and the group in a spiritual quest, remaining as humble as possible, and always with an eye toward applying our insights and revelations to the design of thriving sustainable communities – for the benefit of all. We position ourselves firmly in the center, where meaning is emerging, between the unseen implicate and manifest explicate orders, using the temporal to entice inspiration and guidance from the primordial, and thus aligning with evolution, or rather, becoming the evolution itself.

Spirituality is the core essence, the sustaining life-force infusing and giving direction, meaning, and purpose to a cultural system. Comprising the ultimate in shared values and ethics, the spirituality of a culture forms the basis for legitimating its socio-economic structure and its relationship with the greater-than-human world – its cosmic ecology. While there may be universal values and ethics common to all spiritual traditions (e.g. – love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, reverence for that which nurtures and sustains life, etc.), each unique culture practices and celebrates its spirituality in a manner reflective of its unique situation in the world. Before the mono-cultural triumph of economic globalization, diverse spiritual-cultural traditions arose and flourished as elaborate, multi-purpose meta-solutions to the challenges and opportunities of living in a place; thus, in addition to offering numinous explanations for the vast, unseen, sublime dimensions of life, spiritual-cultural traditions the world over have had distinct practical and instrumental value in sustaining their peoples over time.

And so, in contrast to most other educational programs that prefer to sidestep or ignore this sensitive issue, the spiritual dimension to life’s existence is an integral component of the Ecovillage Design Education. Spirituality – and its multifarious cultural expressions in/as art, music, ritual, ceremony, pageantry, mind-body awareness, and various practices designed to develop expansion of consciousness and attunement to the needs and wishes of the greater whole – is infused throughout the EDE curriculum. The ecovillage is seen as a place consciously created to allow for the spiritual dimensions of life to unfold in all their wonder and splendor. Each ecovillage, depending on its particular locale and eco-cultural environment, may accentuate one spiritual tradition or practice more than another; but, in general, the ecovillage vision fosters, tolerates, and encourages diverse, ecumenical spiritual perspectives. Ideals of mutual-respect, trust, cooperation, harmony, beauty, inter-connectedness and wholeness are foundational and intrinsic to ecovillage living. Having these ideals materialize in day-to-day life through disciplined yet celebratory spiritual practice gives the ecovillagers a deep appreciation of human nature and insights into the greater mystery of which they are an active part.

As a global educational program, the intent is to create a comprehensive yet adaptable curriculum that can be implemented easily by peoples of all cultural backgrounds. As such, this curriculum attempts to delineate and focus on themes and values common to all spiritual traditions.

Here’s part of a “Statement from the Elder Circle of the Indigenous Peoples Maya at Klimaforum10″:

The Maya communities of the state of Quintana Roo, México: Tihosuco, Chan-chen primero y Dos Ojos (Ejido Jacinto Pat).

1. We, like all of the indigenous peoples of the world, are the guardians and protectors of Mother Earth, which cannot be sold, given away, nor rented, because she belongs to everyone and not just to a few.

2. We demand that the governments respect our traditional knowledge, for example: Coexisting in harmony with Mother Earth, with responsibility and justice.

3. As native peoples we feel defrauded and marginalized by the lack of respect for our rights, that’s why we demand: No to discrimination, and the dispossession of our lands. We preserve and our natural resources!

4. We demand self-determination.

These Mayan leaders performed a “Sunrise Ceremony” as part of the KlimaForum:

The indigenous peoples activities and parallel events for UNFCCC got started this weekend with a traditional Sunrise Ceremony by Mayan community leaders of Mexico earlier today (Nov. 27).

Conducting the traditional ritual in the Mayan language (with translation in Spanish and English), the ceremony involved indigenous delegates and NGO representatives from around Mexico, joined by people from many countries around the world, who are here in Cancun to participate at the UN Climate Change summit meeting.

The traditional ritual seek for blessing and spiritual guidance from Mother Earth and “Sukum Keem“, the name for the Sun God in Mayan language. Organized by indigenous peoples groups and Klimafourm 10, the ceremony took place in a forest park campsite just outside of Cancun.

“We welcome the indigenous peoples from all corners of the world. This UN meeting is taking place in our Maya homeland. The World must hear our voice and our concerns at this meeting on Climate Change. We want to protect our land, our forest, the air and the water”, said Gabriel Mazon, a Mayan leader from the Tulum community of the Yucatan Peninsula, representing the local indigenous CCDS CDI organization. Mazon chanted Mayan prayers and blessed each of the participants with the burning of herb medicine, as they held hands together in forming a great circle to surround the sacred fire burning in the center.

Other Mayan spokespersons made reference to the ancient Mayan calendar, the long historic perspectives of his people and the cyclic nature of Time which brings about great changes, and the birth, destruction and re-birth of the world.

Also conducting the ceremony was Het’sua, a Mayan community leader from the Olmec state of Mexico. He said, “The Mayan people are the knowledge-keeper of Time. We have recorded the movement of the sun, the moon, and the stars. We understand the cyclic movement of the Universe, and our Earth is part of this Great Cycle.

Het’sua also told the participants that he can feel the strong positive energy of the Universe resonating at the event, because the local Mayans are receiving indigenous brothers and sisters from throughout Mexico, while a number of indigenous delegates have come a long way from Latin America, North America, Asia, and other parts of the world to gather for the alternative Peoples Climate Summit activities. [...]

Tom Goldtooth and his Indigenous Environmental Network represented the North American indigenous peoples at this event. Following the Mayan ritual, Goldtooth also took part in the ceremony by performing his Dakota people’s tradition of offering of peace pipes and special prayer.

You can watch the ceremony on this youtube video.

From Alec Neal, 350 Solutions Revolution Cyclist and COP16 Delegate:

“Klimaforum10 (K10) is the follow up to the wildly successful Klimaforum09, which was a parallel conference to the COP15 UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen last December. The Klimaforum model is designed to be free and open to anyone who wants to attend and is solely funded by government money, with no strings attached. The intention is to create a collaborative atmosphere that is completely open to the sharing of ideas. Everyone is encouraged to attend and there is a strong emphasis on having representation of indigenous peoples from around the globe. During the course of the conference, there is a full program of over a hundred events ranging from presentations by formidable NGO’s like the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), to community building workshops on singing and yoga.

One of my favorite experiences so far at K10 was a sunrise ceremony lead one morning by indigenous Mayan, North American and Bolivian people in the middle of the large “ecovillage” many of us are camping at. As the sun began to rise above the jungle one of the Mayan men called the meeting into being by blowing on a conch shell. With a group of fifty people from all over the world gathered around a central fire, each of the indigenous groups performed their ritual of respect for the sun and the earth.This experience, like most of my time here at K10, was incredibly grounding and made me realize how out of touch I am with the rhythms, cycles and nurturing aspects of the world. It has also brought up a huge question: if I am so out of touch with the things that actually provide sustenance for life, how can I discern what are the real solutions to healing the our one and only home?”

photo: “Mayan leaders of Mexico welcome Indigenous delegates to UNFCCC in traditional Sunrise Ceremony at Klimaforum10″

Time now for a long list of the religion-related groups and people who attended COP16… These were taken from these official pdfs: [ 1 | 2 ]

UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Conference of the Parties
Sixteenth session
Cancun, 29 November to 10 December 2010
Provisional list of participants
Part Four
Non-governmental organizations

ACT Alliance – Action by Churches Together:

Ms. Aino Pennanen
Policy Officer
Development

Mr. Carlos Javier Cardenas Martinez
Regional Representative
Agricultural Sciences

Sr. Medardo Ernesto Gómez Soto
Bishop Medardo Gomez
Coordination of ACT Regional

Mr. Alberto Miranda
Natural Resource Secretary
Union of Intercultural Communities Bolivia

Sr. Francisco Javier Rivera Cruz
Responsable de Incidencia en Políticas Públicas

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University:

Ms. Jayanti Murli Kirpalani

Ms. Yolanda Martha Moreno Sanchez
Regional Team Co-ordinator

Ms. Graciela Del Carmen Barbachano Herrero
Administrator BK Yucatan

Ms. Julia Grindon-Welch
NGO Representative New York

Ms. Luciana Marques de Souza Ferraz
National Coordinator Brazil

Mr. Joachim Albert Hans Pilz
Advisor Renewable Energy

Ms. Sonja Maria Ohlsson
National Coordinator Denmark
Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University – Denmark

Ms. Valerie Anne Bernard
UN Representative Geneve

Mr. Piero Senatore Musini
Organic farmer

Ms. Patricia Milagros Iturregui Byrne
Climate Change Consultant

Mr. Renaud Russeil
Security Quality, Environment
Manager

Ms. Usha Jevan
National Coordinator South Africa

Catholic Institute for International Relations:

Ms. Petra Elinor Kjell
Environment Policy and Advocacy Officer

Ms. Danielle Morley
Executive Secretary
Freshwater Action Network

Ms. Margaret Beal Von Vogt
Advocacy and Communications DW
Progressio

Sra. Ana Carolina Amaya Tobar
Cordinadora del Programa de Gestion Ecologia de Riesgos y Cambio Climatico
Gestion Ecologia de Riesgos y Cambio Climatico
Unidad Ecologica Salvadorena

Mr. Tim Aldred
Advocacy Manager
Programmes Progressio

Mr. Henricus Petrus Josephus van Schaik
Programme Coordinator
International Cooperative Programme on Water and Climate

Christian Aid:

Ms. Mariana Paoli

Ms. Sarah Spinney

Ms. Sol Oyuela

Mr. Mohamed Adow

Mr. Ram Kishan

Ms. Edith Montero

Mr. Alasdair Cunningham

Ms. Catharina Maria Kivits
Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation

Ms. Cecilia Johanna Maria Nieuwenhuis
Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation

Mr. Carl-Henrik Olaison Jacobsson
Church of Sweden

Mr. Andreas Ulfsax

Mr. Moises Saul Moraga Amador

Mr. Mattias Soderberg
Dan Church Aid

Mr. Alexander Sjöberg
Church of Sweden

Ms. Guri Storaas
Norwegian Church Aid

Mr. Jens Aas-Hansen
Norwegian Church Aid

Ms. Silje Margrete Ander
Norwegian Church Aid

Mr. Isaiah Kipyegon Toroitich

Ms. Rocio Emma Carmen
Valdeavellano Roca Rey

Ms. Begaim Budaichieva
Resource Centre for Elderly

Mr. Ilichbek Kulnazarov
Unison

Mr. Rowena Fernandez Bolinas

Mr. José Emeterio Urbina Castillo
Asociación Colectivo Poder y
Desarrollo Local

Mr. Sergio Rafael Saenz Lopez
Movimiento Comunal
Nicaraguense

Mr. Araya Asfaw
Horn of Africa Regional
Environment Centre

Ms. Rahel Belete Eshete
Action for Development

Mr. Walberto Baraona
Consejo Nacional de Ayullus y
Marcas del Quollasuyo

Mr. Marcos Nordgren Ballivián

Mr. Freddy Torrejon Flores
Natural Resources Secretary

Mr. Pedro Moye

Mr. Moises Huarachi

Church Development Service:

Mr. Richard Brand
Senior Policy Adviser, Climate
and Energy

Ms. Sabine Minninger
Consultant Climate and Energy
Desk

Mr. Michel Takam
Executive Secretary
Action pour un développement
équitable, intégré et durable

Mr. Wolfgang Seiss
Latinamerica Desk Officer

Mr. Hugo Aguilar Ortiz
Legal Advisor
Servicios del Pueblo Mixe
Church of the Brethren

Mr. Shantilal Bhagat

Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association:

Ms. Tan Yee Wong
UN Representative
International Relations

Eco Valley Foundation for Applied Sustainability*:

Mr. Vadim Sviridovich
Strategy director
Strategy and development

Mr. Gyorgy Kirs
Personal Assistant
Secretariat

Franciscans International:

Mr. Bernd Beermann
environmental advocacy officer
advocacy

Mr. Sean Mc Donagh
Advocacy Officer
Environment

Global Peace Initiative of Women:

Ms. Joan Brown Campbell

Ms. Joan Chittister

Mr. Richard Cizik

Ms. Brianne Chai-Onn

Mr. Sraddhalu Ranade

Ms. Dena Finn Merriam
Founder and Convener

Ms. Marianne Marstrand Burkhar

Lutheran World Federation:

Sr. Sergio Rios Carrillo
Iglesia Luterana de Nicaragua Fé y
Esperanza

Sra. Miriam Marlene Chávez
Alfaro
Responsable de Comunicaciones
ACT
Comunicaciones ACT Regional
Sínodo Luterano Salvadoreño

Ms. Mary Patricia Nagle
World Council of Churches

Ms. Barbara Rossing
Professor of Theology
Lutheran School of Theology in
Chicago

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers:

Mr. John Tiunan Brinkman

Mr. Lawrence Radice

Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.:

Ms. Ann Braudis
Associate for Ecology
Office for Global Concerns

Ms. Lilyam Schwabe
Temple of Understanding

Mr. Frans Verhagen
International Institute of Monetary
Transformation

Ms. Joan Kirby
Temple of Understanding

Ms. Cicilymol Paramundayil
Medical Mission Sisters

Ms. Kathleen Fitzsimmons
Temple of Understanding

Ms. Alison Van Dyk
Temple of Understanding

Ms. Martha Gallahue
The National Ethical Service of
The American Ethical Union

Ms. Anita Wenden
UN Main Representative
International Peace Research
Association

Mr. Mark Wolff
Pax Romana

Ms. Lori Johnston
Chair of Board
Southeast Indigenous Peoples’ Center

MISEREOR, German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation:

Ms. Nicole Piepenbrink
Climate Consultant

Ms. Anika Schroeder
Desk Officer for Climate Change
and Development

Sr. Milton Castro Padilla
Cáritas Boliviana

Sra. Alma Daysi Rivera de
Magana
Jefa de la Unidad de Planificatión
y Estudios
FUNDASAL

Sra. Zoraya Raquel Varas Catoira
Técnica Vacilitadora
CPS – Caritas Pastoral Social
Tarija

Sr. Manuel de Jesus Moran
Hidalgo
Director Ejecutivo
Caritas El Salvador

Sr. Octavio Adalid Sanchez Escoto

Sr. Carlos Alberto Esteban
Chiarulli
Investigador

Quaker Earthcare Witness:

Ms. Mary Gilbert
QEW UN Program Coordinator

Ms. Judith Rae Morrell Lumb
QEW UN Working Group

Mr. Juan Samuel Yujra Ticona
Associate

Ms. Magaly Quispe Yujra
Associate

Mr. Ruben Hilare
Associate

World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations:

Ms. Natalia Ibarra

Mr. Ricardo Moyano

Mr. Fernando Ondarza

Ms. Elina Sundström

Ms. Ingrid Widen

World Council of Churches:

Mr. Elias Crisostomo Abramides
WCC Designated Contact Point to
UNFCCC

Mr. Guillermo Eduardo Kerber
Mas

Mr. William Jackson Jarman

Mr. Per Henrik Gunnar Grape

Ms. L. Joy Kennedy

Mr. Mohammad Abdus Sabur

Ms. Larisa Skuratovskaya

Mr. Abraham Colque Jimenez

Mr. Jesse Ndwiga Kanyua
Mugambi

Mr. Ranawaka Arachchige Freddy
de Alwis

Ms. Carol Lynn Somplatsky-
Jarman

Ms. Anne Marieke Schwencke

Mr. Gerrit de Gans

Mr. Daler Ibrohimov

Mr. Timur Idrisov

Mr. David Brian Falla Le Page

Let’s start with the Temple of Understanding:

On their website, it says:

Events

TOU attends Cop16: Climate Change Conf.
Cancun, MX 11/29-12/06

Here are some photos of representatives from the Temple of Understanding attending COP16.

And here’s something from the Cancun Climate Conference Blog:

Posted on behalf of
Lily Schwabe
UN Representative, Temple of Understanding
UN Committee on Sustainable Development (CoNGO, NY)

Dear All,

I had the opportunity to go see Jonathan Pershing this afternoon. Press briefing had been changed to 3pm. Mr. Pershing assured the audience that the US was committed to achieving a successful outcome that builds on what came out of Copenhagen. The US focus was to work towards an agreement that seeks a balance of agreements. “We expect to be pragmatic and expect others to do so also.”

It is obviously early in the negotiations phase and the next week will bring about some progress. He addressed the fact that China and the US had no intentions of making any bi-lateral agreements but rather be a part of the whole picture that included all participating countries.

I took good notes but I’ve had a full day and I’m exhausted. I will stay in touch.

Warm regards,

Lily Schwabe

Their website states:

THE TEMPLE OF UNDERSTANDING has led the way in interfaith education and advocacy for 50 years.

We educate youth and adults both cross culturally and inter-religiously for global citizenship and peaceful coexistence; advocate for acceptance and respect for religious pluralism by the worlds governing bodies; and actively continue to promote justice and tolerance.

The organization was founded in 1960 by a pioneering visionary, Juliet Hollister, with the support of a distinguished group of “Founding Friends,” which included Eleanor Roosevelt, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Sir Zafrula Khan, H.H. Pope John XXIII, Anwar al-Sadat and H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama, among others.

Also:

THE DREAM OF A VISIONARY

In 1960 Juliet Hollister (1916-2000) created the Temple of Understanding (TOU) after a realization that the world was in grave danger unless the gifts, wisdom, and insights of religious traditions could be recognized and cultivated to promote positive social change. She is the first woman to have founded an interfaith organization. Eleanor Roosevelt was among the first to endorse the concept. In the late 1950’s, Juliet traveled the globe, bearing letters of introduction from the former First Lady, in order to gather support from the world’s religious and political leaders. In her letters of introduction, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote:

“May this greatly needed Temple of Understanding come into realization soon, for our world surely needs the inspiration and leadership of such a ‘Spiritual United Nations‘.” [...]

A few years later, in the December 1962 issue of Life Magazine, the cover article described “’Juliet Hollister’s Wonderful Obsession’ as a mission ‘to draw people together to build a movement embracing all faiths.’”

wikipedia says:

The TOU has maintained a strong presence at the United Nations, organizing workshops, lectures and major events including hosting the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the UN in New York (1995). [...]

The Temple of Understanding is a 501(c) (3) non-profit and Non-Governmental Organization with Consultative Status at the United Nation (ECOSOC).

And now for the: World Council Of Churches:

Statement to the UN:

In a statement to the high-level segment plenary of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, a delegation of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has criticized the lack of action during the last decade.

“Humankind is at present dancing on the edge of the abyss. We cannot afford another failure from the governments as in Copenhagen,” said the statement that was read out by Bishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega, president of Caritas Mexico.

The statement also affirmed the determination of faith based organizations to “efforts to offer security, prosperity and dignity to the life of men, women and children around the world, caring also for all the wonders of God’s good Creation, sustaining the treasure of life. A life which needs to be lived with dignity, justice, equity and peace, where the rights of peoples to safe drinking water, sanitation, clean air and a climate apt to support life may become a reality.”

Read the full text of the statement here.

Side Events:

Faith communities came together to address climate change, poverty and sustainable development in a side event jointly organized by Caritas Internationalis, ACT Alliance and the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the Cancun climate summit on 7 December.

“At the end of the day, we are talking about people, not words. It is about working towards climate justice so the poor don’t pay the price for climate change,” said the moderator Martina Liebsch, director of policy at Caritas Internationalis.

The four speakers at the event entitled “Faith based organizations advocate for climate justice” came from Mexico, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Thailand.

They offered ethical contributions to the international negotiations and highlighted the need for greater awareness raising at the grassroots level, social mobilization and advocacy for climate justice.

“Something new is happening on earth: disasters are more frequent and more intense. This is due to the neglect and abusive treatment of the earth. Extreme poverty is exacerbated by exposure to climate hazards. Living in spaces prone to disasters is like living with the sword of Damocles over the head because no one knows where or at what time another flood could happen, nor how to predict it”, said Fr Salvador Urteaga Gutiérrez, advisor on emergencies at Caritas Mexico.

Carlos Javier Cardenas Martínez from the Nicaraguan Council of Evangelical Churches (CEPAD) gave a case study on climate change in Nicaragua and said: “We are messengers that climate change is a matter of justice and we call on governments in Cancun to make true sacrifices for that. ACT Alliance is concerned for the slow progress in the negotiations. We work to empower the poorest communities to create alternatives to cope locally with destruction caused globally.”

Joined in with a Protest March:

Members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) delegation to the United Nations climate talks joined the Time for Climate Justice campaigners on Tuesday morning for a protest march in the streets of Cancun, Mexico.

Demonstrators coming mainly from Latin America, but also from the US, Canada, Europe and China walked over 5 kilometers in downtown Cancun to express their call for a responsible outcome of the climate change negotiations.

“Keep the Climate fund within the UN”, “Peasants cool the planet” and “System change – not climate change” were some of the banners that could be seen on the march. Peasants and indigenous organizations from Latin America expressed the threat they feel to their environment, earth and biodiversity by the present development model and call for the protection of the earth, trees and cultures.

The ecumenical Time for Climate Justice campaign was present with a group of people mainly from Latin America and Europe who carried banners with the campaign motto in several languages including Spanish, English, French, Arabic, Russian, Norwegian and Ahmaric.

Inter-Religious Celebration:

Members of the WCC delegation attending the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 16) in Cancun, together with other delegates and members of local parishes, participated at an inter-religious celebration organized by Caritas Mexico and the WCC. The event was held on Saturday 4 December at the Church of the Risen Christ in Cancun and took as its motto “United in prayer: United for the creation that needs us”.

The celebration opened with the reading of the story of creation in Genesis 1. The Rev. Bill Somplatsky-Jarman from the Presbyterian Church (USA), a member of the WCC delegation, commented on the text. He stressed the harm human beings have been causing to the earth and the need to stop the destruction of the environment. The story of Genesis reveals a creation made by God who saw it and called it good, yet in the last centuries we humans have been assisting in destructive actions. The good news, he said, is that this can stop. Humankind needs urgently to take action to reverse the current process of decline through which the whole creation is going.

Bishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega, president of Caritas Mexico, said that humanity is at the crossroads because of the ecological crisis. To overcome it, a new covenant with the whole creation is needed. We are called to listen both to the cry of the oppressed and the cry of creation as it is threatened by the selfish interests of human beings. We need to pass from anthropocentric arrogance to universal compassion and solidarity. Taking care of creation is essential for peace on earth. Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, he stated that the ever-increasing phenomenon of climate refugees presents us with human rights implications; specifically, the right to life, the right to food, the right to health and the right to development.

An indigenous Mayan dance was performed while the congregation was reminded of the wisdom of Mayan teachings regarding a life in harmony with the whole creation, the earth, the trees, birds, fish and water.

Prayers were offered for the earth, scientists, public servants, negotiators and all humankind. The celebration concluded with the exchange of a sign of peace.

The inter-religious celebration is one of the various activities the WCC delegation is experiencing during the UN Conference on Climate Change that is being held in Cancun; the conference will last until 10 December.

According to their website:

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is the broadest and most inclusive among the many organized expressions of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose goal is Christian unity.

It looks like they forgot to mention their far leftist credentials… which can be seen in some of these articles by Mark D. Tooley in FrontPageMag:

World Council of Churches: The KGB Connection
Choosing Mugabe
Religious Agitation for Zelaya
The World Council of Churches and the Zionist Catastrophe

Coverage on Tuesday, 7 December 2010:

Faith-based Organizations Advocate for Climate Justice
Presented by World Council of Churches (WCC), Action by Churches Together (ACT Alliance), and Caritas Internationalis (CI)

photo: L-R: Carlos Javier Cardenas Martínez, CEPAD; Salvador Urteaga Gutieírrez, CEPS; Martina Liebsch, CI; M. Abdus Sabur, Asian Muslim Action Network; Abraham Colque Jimenez, ISEAT; and Elias Abramides, WCC.

This event discussed the work of faith-based organizations in the context of climate change.

Martina Liebsch, CI, reminded participants that climate policy is about people and working towards “climate justice.” She said the key message of the event is to adopt a new paradigm for “reconciliation with creation.

Salvador Urteaga Gutieírrez, Comisión Episcopal para la Pastoral Social (CEPS), discussed the destruction caused by natural disasters resulting from climate change, saying CEPS is committed to investing in caring for the poor affected by these events.

Carlos Javier Cardenas Martínez, Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), emphasized addressing climate change as a matter of justice. He highlighted the ACT Alliance’s efforts on health, resilience and relief efforts at the community level and underlined the importance of technology transfer, early warning systems and capacity building.

Recalling the 2010 Cochabamba Declaration, Abraham Colque Jimenez, Instituto Superior Ecuménico Andino de Teología (ISEAT), called for: a climate justice tribunal; and all churches to invest in “eco-centric spirituality” by supporting government bodies to take greater responsibility in caring for the earth.

M. Abdus Sabur, Asian Muslim Action Network, expressed the Muslim community’s interest in working on a common vision towards climate change, but that more information and translation into Asian languages was needed to involve local communities. He described his Network’s consultations on climate change which highlighted the need for water and land rights.

In the discussion, the audience highlighted: the role churches can play in working with scholars to develop a moral and ethical language for the UNFCCC delegates; using congregations as the vehicle to facilitate behavior change to address climate change; overpopulation; and the responsibility and opportunity for faith-based organizations to learn the science of climate change.

photo 1: Martina Liebsch, CI, moderated the event and emphasized service for and from communities in the context of climate change.

photo 2: Elias Abramides, WCC, convened the event of faith-based organizations from Asia, Latin America, and Europe to discuss “climate justice.”

photo 3: M. Abdus Sabur, Asian Muslim Action Network, said the Qur’an states that ownership of resources belong to the creator, and although everyone has the right to these resources, they must leave them intact.

blog posts by people from Christian Aid:

The posts are strictly blather about Climate Change … pretty much NO religious content.

A few examples:

Taking to the streets:

Yesterday we left the negotiation halls and the Zona Hotelera behind and headed into Cancun city for the global day of action against climate change. We joined Christian Aid partners from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, and the Philippines as well as our Aprodev colleagues from across Europe and marched through the city centre calling for climate justice.

It was refreshing and energising to be with so many others, especially those from Central America and to realise the global movement is still going strong despite recent disappointments. TV cameras were there to tell our story to the world, but we wonder how much the politicians locked in talks inside the Moon Palace will notice. Time will tell.

Marching for climate justice on the streets of Cancun

Members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) delegation to the United Nations climate talks joined the Time for Climate Justice campaigners on Tuesday morning for a protest march in the streets of Cancun, Mexico.

Demonstrators coming mainly from Latin America, but also from the US, Canada, Europe and China walked over 5 kilometers in downtown Cancun to express their call for a responsible outcome of the climate change negotiations.

“Keep the Climate fund within the UN”, “Peasants cool the planet” and “System change – not climate change” were some of the banners that could be seen on the march. Peasants and indigenous organizations from Latin America expressed the threat they feel to their environment, earth and biodiversity by the present development model and call for the protection of the earth, trees and cultures.

The ecumenical Time for Climate Justice campaign was present with a group of people mainly from Latin America and Europe who carried banners with the campaign motto in several languages including Spanish, English, French, Arabic, Russian, Norwegian and Ahmaric.

Your Daily Guide to COP16 #3

Looking forward

Side event:

Faith based organisations advocate for climate justice
Communities address climate change, poverty and sustainable development, offering ethical contributions to international negotiations through awareness raising, social mobilization and advocacy. Case study on Nicaragua and interfaith theological approaches from Christian and Muslim perspectives.
Time: Tuesday, Dec 7. 11.30-1pm.
Venue: Monarca (Cancunmesse Hall D)

Here are some blog posts by Mattias Soderberg, from DanChurchAid, Danish member of the ACT Alliance:

Posts are, once again, strictly about Climate Change… no religious content…

Members of the ACT Alliance:

Members and official observers of the ACT Alliance are:

* related to the World Council of Churches and The Lutheran World Federation

* work in the area of humanitarian assistance and/or development as their primary mandate (for church-related organisations)

See the full list of members on the ACT Alliance Members page.”

ACT, Action by Churches Together, is:

…an alliance of 100+ churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance and development.

The alliance works in 140 countries and mobilises US$1.6 billion annually in its work for a just world.

The alliance has over 31,000 people working for it globally.

The final two organizations that I will mention are the Global Peace Initiative of Women and the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.

The website of The Global Peace Initiative of Women says:

The Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) was founded to help awaken and mobilize spiritual energies in places of great need with the goal of aiding in healing and unifying the world community. GPIW facilitates this by seeking to gather together those of great insight, wisdom, compassion and dedication, many of whom are working quietly for the upliftment of the world. A major focus of GPIW’s work is to aid in building a global network of contemplative leaders who through their inner work can help transform the causes and conditions that lead to suffering at both the individual and collective level.

This work is under the stewardship of a group of women spiritual leaders and practitioners. It is GPIW’s mission to help manifest the special qualities of the Divine Feminine, or Shakti, which enables the inner transformation now required for us to meet the challenges facing the Earth’s community of life.

We stand at a crossroad and much about the future will be determined in our time. GPIW deeply believes that the perception of the unity of all religions and the awakening to the sacred in every aspect of life are essential principles for our transition to a more peaceful, compassionate and sustainable world community.

The website of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University says:

What is the Brahma Kumaris (BKs)?

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) is an international non-governmental organisation headquartered at Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India with over 8,500 centres in 100 countries, territories and islands. As a learning community, it currently has more than 825,000 regular students seeking to strengthen their ability to live by their own higher nature and to improve their contribution to society through spiritual education and reflective practices.

What are the aims and objectives of the Brahma Kumaris?

The Brahma Kumaris seeks to help individuals re-discover and strengthen their inherent worth by encouraging and facilitating a process of spiritual awakening. This leads to an awareness of the importance of thoughts and feelings as the seeds of actions. The development of virtues and values-based attitudes creates a practical spirituality which enhances personal effectiveness in the workplace and in family life.

An understanding of the spiritual context of human existence is offered, helping to make sense of contemporary issues. Based on the principle that the roots of change lie within, the university encourages individuals to live by their highest values, vision and purpose. It holds that this commitment to self-transformation will create peace and a better world for all.

How does the Brahma Kumaris carry out these aims?

Through its international network of centres, the organisation offers courses in Raja Yoga Meditation and a variety of lectures, short courses and programmes in personal development. Outreach projects to the community serve a variety of local needs. Brahma Kumaris retreat centres provide a supportive and nurturing environment where individuals and professional groups can explore meditation and the application of spiritual values in daily life. At the national and international level, by engaging in partnerships and dialogues, the Brahma Kumaris co-ordinates a variety of projects providing opportunities to participate in activities of social and humanitarian concern. The focus is always on developing spiritual learning as the key to individual and world transformation. [...]

What is the Brahma Kumaris’ relationship with the United Nations?

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is a non-governmental organisation in general category consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), in consultative status with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and is affiliated to the Department of Public Information (DPI). [...]

How does the Brahma Kumaris contribute to the work of the UN?

The Brahma Kumaris supports the UN Millennium Development Goals through a wide range of programmes promoting education; gender equality and empowerment of women; mental, physical, and spiritual health and well-being; and environmental sustainability.

Their special competence in the area of human and social values allows them to bring a particularly ethical and spiritual approach to world concerns. In this capacity, the BKs regularly work with NGO committees and caucuses, specialised agencies and government missions, and contribute to policy through oral and written statements.

The BKs strive always to promote awareness and highlight the great aspirations of the purposes and principles of the UN. In doing so, they initiate international projects to provide people from around the world with an opportunity to participate in activities of social and humanitarian concerns.

Climate Change Studio:

In order to channel the dynamic and engaging views and ideas of participants, the secretariat has continued the “Climate Change Studio” – a platform that provides an opportunity for applicants to be interviewed briefly by a professional journalist on actions, solutions, observations and issues that impact on climate change.

All interviews are filmed, edited and broadcast on Climate Change TV, the world’s first internet broadcaster dedicated entirely to climate change issues. Interviews will be catalogued in a fully searchable database alongside other interviews with world leaders, expert observers, decision makers and activists in the international climate change debate.

The Climate Change Studio is located in the exhibition area in Cancunmesse.

Video interview with Sister Jayanti Kirpalani, with the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University

“Sister Jayanti Kirpalani of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University describes how consciousness and thoughts impact the physical state of our world. Thoughts affect everything. They create the attitudes behind our decisions and lifestyles.The result: the environmental crisis. The solution: a profound shift in awareness.”

Video Interview with Joachim Golo Pilz of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University

“Joachim Golo Pilz, from Brahma Kumaris, talks about the shift in awareness that is needed to tackle climate change. He discusses how they teach meditation and combine this with their work in the field of renewable energy, and how a meditative, peaceful approach can help with dealing with issues such as financing and project management.”

Some posts from a blog by: the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative (I’ll also include some snippets below the links. But click on the links for the full post.)

Climate Change Conference -COP16 – Cancun Mexico
[Click on this link for the Brahma Kumaris itinerary]

BK Delegation at the Climate Change Conference in Mexico

This was the Village’s first day open and we found ourselves to be one of the first workshops taking place. The village was not ready and so there were not many people around. The American based organization “Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) had arranged a panel discussion and had invited us to take part. We, along with the moderator and founder of GPIW, Dena Merriam, (a regular COTT participant) and her team arrived to an empty hall. Through the ingenuity of some of her team they found a bigger stage in the exhibition hall and managed to convince the organizers of the Village that the panel discussion should be moved there. The panel started with few participants but as the program continued about 30 people found their way to listen to “The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change – Addressing the environmental crisis from a spiritual perspective”.

The panel discussion started with Luciana Ferraz from Brahma Kumaris, Brazil. She shared that the spiritual and the environment are interconnected in all living systems. The word “oikos” (from which the word ecology is derived) in Greek means house. We have five houses – first house is our mind which generates our thoughts and feelings. Than we have the body; which is the temple of the spirit, then there is the home where family interaction takes place, after that there is the earth; the stage of our human family’s play and the fifth house is the universe; our bigger home where our planet is located. A profound and lasting balance of all these houses starts with the transformation of our consciousness and so a change in our attitudes. With an education based on values our habits change and with an ethic of caring towards nature, we are able to change our life style.

Mr Richard Cizik, founder of New Evangelicals USA, followed on by saying that new bold action from spiritual groups was necessary. He saw the spiritual contribution in three steps. The first step is to change our vision to see more clearly and deeply – to move away from having the human at the centre, to have the cosmos at the centre of our view. The second step which is the strategy, is to care more deeply about what we see, to care and to co-operate. The third step is the step for action – to be a healthy disturbance and to make things move. Finally Sister Joan Chittister, Benedicte nun and renowned author brought up the aspect of creation. We didn’t come to dominate nature but live with her in harmony. She also shared that saints see the same things everyone else sees, but they see them differently. Due to a somewhat chaotic start the helpful staff from the Climate Change Village asked us if we would like to come back and repeat the same program in a couple of days. To which we agreed. Though there were not many delegate attendees at the Village there were a large amount of press and they were very interested in what we had to say. So after the program the media gathered around everyone and held short interviews. Luciana Ferraz and others from panel got interviewed by two newspapers: Novedades-Grupo Sipse (distribution in Q.Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, Guerrero States and Mexico City) and Uno mas Uno (local Cancun Newspaper), plus Radio ECOS (FM 104.90). The day was completed by evening meditation overlooking the ocean, family dinner and catching up with emails and reports.

2nd Day Climate Change Conference – Tuesday 30th November

In one of the tents as the afternoon wore on and the sun filtered through canvas, the tent filled with heat as well as about twenty five participants who came to a small panel discussion hosted by the Global Peace Initiative. As was mentioned yesterday, this American based organization had invited a group of Religious Leaders to highlight the Inner Dimension of Climate Change. Joining the panel along with BK Lucina Ferraz, Richard Cizik, founder of New Evangelicals USA, and Sister Joan Chittister, Benedicte nun and renowned author, were two other religious leaders; Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell and venerable Chang Ji, Dharma Drum, USA.

Luciana Ferraz from Brazil spoke of the connection between ‘inner nature’ and ‘external nature’. Both are made of energy, she explained, energy that is never created or destroyed, but goes through transformation. The quality of energy depends on human thoughts which are the seed of everything we see around us. When thoughts are of oneness and balanced, the tree of human existence will be accordingly. Today what we see in the world is the expression of divided and conflicted thoughts.

Dr. Rev. Joan Brown Campbell shared about this being a world of specialists and that we have to work to create a world of unity. Ven. Chang Ji Dharma Drum continued on the same note, sharing her Buddhist perspective of first looking inside to see how our thoughts, become our actions, creating our habits and character, indeed our life and our destiny, and therefore the destiny of the planet and humankind. To change our thoughts we have to be mindful in whatever we do, when eating and doing our actions. She then, to illustrate her point, took out a set of steel cutlery she carries wherever she goes to avoid wasting plastic cutlery.

Chang Ji and Luciana were then interviewed by the journalist Adriana Varillas from the local newspaper El Periodico.

Then in tune with the culture of the KlimaForum our visit ended with a powerful circular dance lead by BK Kitzia Wiess from Mexico. She gathered a big group of people, young and old, getting them moving in circles and doing different steps in co-ordination with each other – a practical example of co-operation and staying tuned to each other and nature.

3rd Day — Climate Change Conference – Wednesday 1st December

Interview at the Climate Change Studio. In order to channel the dynamic and engaging views of participants of COP16, the secretariat of UNFCCC has continued the “Climate Change Studio” (which was also present in Copenhagen last year and interviewed Sister Jayanti). Climate Change TV is a platform that provides the opportunity to be interviewed by a professional journalist on actions, solutions, observations and issues that impact climate change. Joachim Golo Pilz was interviewed by a British journalist.

Golo has played a major role in making the Brahma Kumaris (BKs) one of the largest users of alternative energy in India. He has, together with German organizations, installed solar energy systems for steam generation and power supply in the BK world headquarters in the remote mountains of Rajasthan and in the BK centers all over India.

Presently he is working on designing a 1mw solar power plant. After initial questions about the use of solar energy the subject turned to spirituality and how a change in consciousness affects climate change. Golo emphasized the connection between the inner state of mind and the external condition of the world, saying that there is a strong relationship. First, man has to improve his consciousness and awareness and only then can it have a lasting impact.

Asked for his personal experiences on how spirituality helped him in his work with solar energy. He emphasized that spirituality had helped him to develop patience and dedication and not allow him to loose focus of the projects under adverse circumstances. Golo then shared his personal view that meditation helped a lot in his having success in his solar projects. After the interview Golo was asked many follow-up questions by bystanders including a reporter from a Chinese TV station who asked him to be interviewed on live TV on Thursday morning.

By the evening Sister Jayanti had registered and was visiting the various locations of the conference. Shortly afterwards the Brahma Kumaris held a joint side event with Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) in a large meeting room near the country pavilions. The theme again was the Inner Dimensions of Climate Change. A panel of spiritual and religious leaders of which Sister Jayanti is a part, discussed the understanding that the environmental crisis is a moral and spiritual crisis and explored ways to shift the consciousness needed to change behaviors and lifestyles that reduce the waste and degradation that modern life entails.

Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, spoke of a deeply spiritual crisis in which we have become so separate from each other that we no longer relate to each other as being part of the whole. We have forgotten what it means to be unified. “Everything relates to every thing, and everything relates to everyone” she said. The greatest call for people of faith is unity. We need to care beyond ourselves, beyond our families, beyond our professions, beyond our politics, beyond our nation, beyond what separates us. We have lost the capacity to care for what is beyond us.

Sister Jayanti. We have separated our selves from the living system of nature. We exploit everything for our own purposes and have forgotten that we are part of the living system of life.

The power of thought, which is also a living system, has a huge impact on mater. The human mind and vibrations created from thoughts influence everything on the physical level. We have lost contact with the core qualities inside each of us; our real treasures of peace, happiness, simplicity, love and care which create a naturally sustainable world. The attitude and vision of the world that arise from these qualities are being lost, because we have forgotten who we are – spiritual beings filled with these qualities When we lose ourselves in this way, greed arrives to acquire physical things to fill this huge gap we feel inside and we lose the capacity to care for each other, nature, and the animal kingdom.

Ven. Chang Ji Dharma Drum, Buddhist: Our lives are moving so fast that we only do what we must and not what we should. We are experiencing the collective destiny of what we have created. We need to think about what we are doing – right now. Be present and aware of what is happening. Think about what we are doing – live a sustainable life and be Mindful.

Mr. Richard Cizik, founder of New Evangelicals USA. Believes this is a defining moment. Our vision needs to move from human centered to cosmic centered. We need to change from ‘Take, Make and Waste’ to ‘Borrow, Use and Return’. A vision of sustainability is heavenly. Religion and science need to come together because religion is the ‘why’ and science is the ‘how’. We need to care more deeply and act more boldly. The defining moment needs to be our best moment and we need a conversion of the habits of the heart.

Sraddhalu Ranade, Scientist, Teacher at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India. Everything is in a grid-lock of human policies and practices. This is a fundamental crisis of spirituality, a consciousness crisis and there are six errors that have lead us to this crisis.
1) Self interest. Self interest is fine but it needs to expand to include everything.
2) Lifestyle – Increasing greed and unlimited desires have led us to this crisis. We have to learn to be satisfied with what we have. We need to recover our spiritual values.
3) Short term vision. We need to look at the long-term vision of quality of life and sustainable living.
4) We have forgotten that we are part of nature
5) We have lost the sense of who we are – we have been taught that we are a biological structure, but first of all we are spiritual beings
6) Why we are here. We are not here by chance but as spiritual beings we have a purpose.

Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun and renowned author asked: Where do we get our ideas from and how do we change them? She suggested that we are not at the point of seeing differently, we are not at the point of seeing at all! We are not just separated from nature or distinct from nature but we exploit it. We need to come into relationship with nature and not dominate it. The creation story which we are taught in the Judo Christian tradition is one of dominance over matter but there is the other creations story which shows us to be in relationship with matter and so the quality of caring is present in that relationship.

Finally, after questions from the audience, the panel agreed that they had all learnt from each others perspectives and that they need to come together to learn how to join together to speak about how to get this message out to the world. [...]

Our day at KlimaForum again finished with the circular dance, which is by far the most popular activity with the young people who inhabit this forum.

4th and 5th Day — Climate Change Conference – Thursday and Friday, 2nd & 3rd December

We arrived around 10 am and all was quiet at KlimaForum because many of the hundred or so volunteers who attend many of the events wake up late. However, as soon as we entered grounds, Sister Jayanti was approached by Televisia an international television company, who asked: What was her message for the Climate Conference? Sister Jayanti answered that our message is to explain how human consciousness affects the world around us and also our larger environment.

The day was warm but with a cool breeze and we had a nice big tent for our workshop on Consciousness and Climate: the Confluence of Two Living System led by Sister Jayanti. The audience who was young, and form all over the world was very interested in, and enthusiastic about, the topic and had many questions. As the workshop proceeded two newspaper reporters from El Periodico from Cancun and Poresto from Yucatan came by to take notes and a local television Chanel 10 recorded the group meditation.

Sister Jayanti shared that human beings have intervened in the delicate biological system of the planet and have failed to understand the consequences of their interventions. These interventions were actually interference and exploitation. Those actions, and in fact any actions, are preceded by a thought. Our thoughts come from our awareness, our consciousness and so it is therefore crucial to take time to see what is going on inside us, to look at our consciousness and approach things from inside out.

In a state of ignorance of the consequences of our action, our actions are actually causing us to experience feeling of emptiness, so we chase after possessions and power from the external world in order to fill ourselves up. So in order to re-fill ourselves and create harmony with the natural world we must first create inner peace, secondly a life style of non-violence, and the third step which is more subtle and yet very powerful is to send out thoughts of healing and peace to nature. After her presentation she was asked many questions about Brahma Kumaris, and she shared that the purpose of our organization is to make people aware of the spiritual dimension of life.

Evening meditation and dinner with spiritual and religious leaders at Casa Shanty. We were a group of about 30, the Brahma Kumaris (BK) delegation, the religious leaders from The Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) whom we had been partnering with in various events through the past week and some additional guests including Mateo Castillo, Coordinator of Social Participation and Transparency Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexican Government, who Valerianne had met in Ahmadabad at “The Earth Charter +10 Conference at the beginning of November.

After a welcome by BK Yolanda, one of the hosts of the evening, Sister Jayanti led us into silent meditation with a few words on our connection with each other and nature. We all sat in a large circle lit by candles, the moon and soft colored garden lights. In silence we listened to the waves and remembered the Unlimited Ocean of all Qualities – God. We then shared a delicious traditional Mexican dinner prepared by our local Mexican BKs Aide and Rossi which everyone thoroughly enjoyed (Grilled vegetables on a stick Tamales and Guava with avocado moose for desert.) It was a wonderful evening of rich conversations and friendship.

Friday 3rd, December

Chichen Izta,

We set off early for a two hour drive to the ancient Mayan City of Chichen Izta. Chichen Izta means the sacred well where seven rivers meet. It was known for its Cosmology University which initiated the Mayan Priests that came from all the areas of the Mayan world, from Southern Mexico from the state of Chiapas, the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. We met the religious leaders at Mayaland – a hotel owned by BK Carmen’s family. Carmen and Yolanda had arranged for a local Mayan Priest and Priestess to meet with us and initiate our day by doing a short Mayan ceremony which purifies and gives blessings to the soul.

They joined us on our guided tour of the city. The city is fascinating showing a civilization with a rich spiritual culture, and architecture based on very precise mathematical and cosmic calculations. Our group did a short prayer and meditation ceremony at the base of one of the pyramids sending pure vibrations and good wishes to our colleagues at the Climate Change conference to encourage enlightened decisions would be made.

Our tour ended with a presentation by a well known acknowledged researcher and writer on the Mayan Culture called Alberto Haggar. He explained many fascinating things including the meaning of the Mayan Calendar and 2012. His explanation was that this would be a time of the new era of the Golden Age to begin. We all returned home with a greater sense of Mexican history and the spiritual nature of the Mayan people.

6th and 7th Day — Climate Change Conference – Saturday and Sunday, 4th and 5th December

When things are reported such as floods etc. we are told what is happening, but we are not doing anything to solve them, to prevent them, to work on the remedies because we are disconnected from reality, disconnected from the small things in life which are universal and so important to the spirit. We will only be able to re-connect when we start with the self. Change will only come when we change our attitude and give value to people.

When it came time for our presentation a large group of school had joined the audience. The audience was Spanish speaking and so Golo and Sister Jayanti were translated by Patricia who was the moderator and Valerianne. Golo Pilz gave a presentation on solar energy, and explained how by copying the cycle of nature we could live a very comfortable life on this planet. The Brahma Kumaris in India have made great strides in this direction by using solar energy to cook 38,000 meals per day at their headquarters. They have also adopted the eco friendly concept of large scale tree planting around India and have already planted 3 million.

8th Day — Climate Change Conference – Monday, 6th December

The partnership with the university to experiment with Yogic Agriculture is for 5 years. The aim of the experiment is to see how meditation affects the plants and the cultivation of soil (how long it takes enrich the soil to bring the soil back to its rich organic self). The experiment starts by meditation with the seeds, and measuring the weight change, then the seeds are planted, and the meditations visualize a strong healthy plant going through the whole life-cycle. The farmers became more aware and many change their lifestyles and became vegetarians. The results of the meditation on the vegetables are quite significant and skeptical neighboring farmers on seeing the results have become interested in participating and so the idea is spreading.

The initial results are so far are very encouraging Increased iron content of the grain, significant drop in pest damage, higher seed germination, faster growth rate, increased micro-nutrient content of crops and increased growth, strength and velocity. The participants in the event were very interested and we had an animated conversation on the effect of meditation on matter. We finished the meeting with a lovely mediation. [...]

We have to change our consciousness. We have to learn to see the treasures within ourselves; giving time to the self is a way to start this journey. Most people say they do not have time, they are too busy . . . watching TV. Taking time to go inside, to reflect on peace, truth, and love that we have within, we begin to value and respect ourselves. Once we respect ourselves we also respect our environment and give respect to the earth. Respect for life is very important but today we have forgotten this. It is a spiritual law that whatever is going on inside becomes visible on the outside. When we have respect for ourselves and others we become aware of the sacredness of life.

If we begin to change in the way we think and feel then the quality of our actions and our life will change. It takes a second to change – to decide to change. We need to connect with our original qualities. We then become an instrument of change – to give. If we give it comes back to us. Spirituality is not difficult it is simple and practical. Speaking of bringing things into the practical, Sister Jayanti then introduced Golo and Pierro who gave their presentations of Solar Energy and Natural farming and Yogic Agriculture.

10th Day — Climate Change Conference – Wednesday, 8th December Merida

Morning Meditation with group from Mexican Ministry
At 7:00am Valeriane met with the participants of the same group from the Mexican Ministry of Environment with whom she had been the previous evening. As a way of going into silence and experiencing nature Valeriane invited them to walk in silence and to become aware of a value which they would like to communicate through their bodies to the earth as they walked towards the beach.

At the beach the participants sat together in a circle as Valeriane led them in mediation. The early morning sun began to warm the sand as Valeriane’s words made them aware of the power of thoughts and feelings and our responsibility towards nature. She spoke to them of connecting to God to become instruments to channel God’s energy towards nature, As the meditation drew to a close she invited them all to share their feelings and what was really essential to them in their lives.

Three indigenous leaders were also in this gathering and shared how important it was to learn from each other. Everyone enjoyed it very much and one of them specifically asked Valeriane how to keep these vibrations of peace in her heart and mind as she lived in the boarder town Chihuahua where there is a lot of violence due to the battles of the drug lords. Valeriane connected her to the Brahma Kumaris in Mexico who would be able to help her on an on-going basis.

KlimaForum

Panel Discussion

As there were few people at the KlimaForum the three panels of the day decided to join forces and do one program so that everyone could join in. This worked very well. The panel then consisted of a specialist on coral reefs from Mexico, two young Canadians who were specialists on the Antarctic, and BK Valeriane who spoke on how climate change demands inner change. We also had a young representative Paulina Monforte, from Youth Environmental Network, Mexico.

The specialists on the coral reefs spoke of the demise of the reefs; how they are very affected by contamination, global warming and poorly treated swage. By the time Valeriane spoke all questions were directed towards how we make a change – how can people change!

Valeriane started to answer this question by sharing the vision of the Brahma Kumaris on how we can empower ourselves and bring change in our own lives. To change ones own lifestyle, to make a difference at the level of environment we have to begin with self awareness. We have to have the power to consume less, change our diets and live more simply. By being aware of our own inner power and inner capacities we are able to change the quality of our life. Valeriane ended by conducting mediation. [...]

BK Luciana also gave the meditation CD called Lotus Heart – meditation commentaries for balancing the self with nature, prepared by Valeriane to Mr. Nelton from Itaipu Hydroeletric.

9th Day — Climate Change Conference – Tuesday, 7th December

Meeting with South African Minister at the Moon Palace Hotel (COP16).
A group from our delegation, Sister Jayanti, BK Usha, Sonja and Golo met with Edna Molewa, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs. Sister Jayanti shared with her the necessity for ethics and values to be incorporated into the climate negotiations. The minister agreed and said that when there is not trust it is very difficult to come to an agreement.

Sister Jayanti also shared the news of the activities of the BKs in renewable energy and reforestation and then introduced Golo to the minister. He briefly explained with the help of the brochure, activates of the BKs in the field of solar energy. Sister Jayanti also informed the minister of our activities at COP16 and our plans for COP17 which will be held in Durban, South Africa. BK Usha invited the minister to the local center in Durban and explained that we are making tentative plans to hold a Call-of-the-Time Dialogue with leaders in the field of Climate Change before COP 17, in which she seemed very interested.

It was a very lovely meeting in which the minister and the BK delegation enjoyed quality time in an atmosphere of peace, as the negotiations and meetings swirled around them. The meeting lasted for almost half and hour and in-between Sister Jayanti guided a beautiful meditation which the minister enjoyed deeply. [...]

The Mexican Ministry of the Environment invited all the heads of the different departments that work with environment and transparency in the country to be in Cancun to work together. Mateo Castillo, who heads up this department had met BK Valeriane in Ahmadabad at the Earth Charter +10 conference, this past November, and had very much enjoyed a meditation that Valeriane had conducted at the conference and had especially invited her to do the same for this gathering.

On arrival Valeriane spoke to an audience, of about thirty people, on the power to change then BK Yolanda, from the Merida center in Mexico, conducted the meditation with BK Piero finishing off by sharing how Yogic Farming as a way to show how the mind has power to influence matter.

I’ll finish things up with some snippets from listings featuring a bunch of religion-related talks and events taken from the official UN COP16 websites:

Klimaforum10 – The Voice of the people, for the people and the earth.
the global civil society’s counterpart to the official UN conference COP16
http://www.klimaforum10.org

Klimaforum10 is an open space where people, movements, and organisations from all over the World can meet, discuss and develop a constructive response to the climate crisis. Where governments fail, the people shall prevail.

Invited by the Danish board, host of the Klimaforum09 (Copenhagen 2009) to continue their successful initiative and convinced by the severity of the climate crisis and the lack of concrete results emerging from governmental summit, Mexican grassroots movements decided to host an autonomous environmental summit, free from corporate or governmental intervention in parallel to the United Nations COP16 summit.

Daily Activities at Klimaforum10:

FRIDAY 26th November 2010:

Open morning meditations
8.00-9.00
@MEDITATION SACTUARY
Meditation and reflection will take place every morning.
Each morning session will be lead by a different Klimaforum09 delegate or guest.
There will be 30-45 mins. of quiet meditation followed by a discussion/reflection on the role of spirituality in times of transition and change.

YOGA SESSIONS
7:30-9:00
@MAIN FIELD
Yoga sessions will take place every morning in the main field, There will be diffrent instructors guiding through pranayamas, kirtans and diffrent techniques.

Fire Ceremony
@GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE
At Sunset (Aprox.18:00-19:00)
A spiritual opening ceremony lead by Mayan, Aztecs and Huicholes from Mexico, in unison with native americans, Africans, asians and others will open this event, with a prayer for the wellbeing of humanity and other sentient creatures.

SATURDAY 27th November 2010:

Indigenous Opening Ceremony
@MAIN FIELD
At Sunrise (7:00-8:30)
A spiritual opening ceremony lead by Mayan, Aztecs and Huicholes from Mexico, in unison with native americans, Africans, asians and others will open this event, with a prayer for the wellbeing of humanity and other sentient creatures.

MONDAY 29th November 2010:

14:00-15:30
@Conference Tent
Panel discussion
Village of the Future
Speakers: Joachim Golo Pilz
Organization: Brahma Kumaris (GERMANY, INDIA)

Global Hospital and Research Centre a charitable hospital with headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India in conjunction with Internationaler Ländlicher Entwicklungsdienst (ILD ) & IndiaCare charitable trusts from Germany, are intending to set up a holistic integrated model village, a rural training centre.

Objective: To raise the awareness of how the use of renewable energy can be used in rural areas..

WEDNESDAY 1st December 2010

16:00-18:00
@Conference Tent
Panel
The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change
Speakers: Dena Merriam, Convener & Founder, GPIW (Moderator), Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, Former Sec. General, The National Council of Churches, USA; Co-founder, Religious Partnership for the Environment; Chair, Global Peace Initiative of Women, Sister Luciana, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Brazil, Richard Cizik, Fellow at the Open Society; Founder, New Evangelicals, USA, Sraddhalu Ranade, Scientist, Teacher at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun, Renowned Author, Prominent Voice in Interfaith Affairs
Organization: Global Peace Initiative
of Women.

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University & Global Peace Initiative of Women in a joint forum: Spiritual and religious leaders explore ways to inspire and motivate civil society to shift perceptions and behaviors to effect outer change and reverse damage to our environment. for development.

Objective: To create a positive force amid frustration that can lead to the shift in thinking and behavior to address climate change

THURSDAY 2nd December 2010:

10:00-12:00
@Meshworks Tent
Seminar
Consciousness and Climate – Confluence of Two Living Systems
Speakers: Sister Jayanti
Organization: Brahma Kumaris

Sister Jayanti describes how consciousness and thoughts impact the physical state of our world. Thoughts affect everything. They create the attitudes behind our decisions and lifestyles. The result: the environmental crisis. The solution: a profound shift in awareness.

Objective: To Expand the Climate Change conversation to include the inner dimension.

14:00-16:00
@Tent1
Workshop
Harnessing the Energy of Love
Speakers: Jason Weston, Marci Graham
Organization: HAI Global (USA)

Harnessing the Energies of Love is a workshop based on the principles of the Human Awareness Institute. If we wish to be heard, we must listen. Much of the Climate Change debate polarizes the parties involved, hindering opportunities for deeper communication. When separation breeds distrust, it becomes very challenging to hear others’ viewpoints. This workshop will provide a profound experience of connection and listening, to foster understanding.

Cancun COP 16 – Official GPIW Public Events
November 28th – December 4th 2010
Cancun, Mexico

Sunday, November 28th

All day Arrivals
6pm Opening session with the group (Gran Melia Cancun Ibiza Room)
Monday, November 29th
9am Breakfast
10am Departure for NGO Forum (Free Shuttle Bus)
11am – 1pm NGO Forum – The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change: Addressing the Environmental Crisis from a Spiritual Perspective (Foro 100)
Moderator: Dena Merriam
Presenters include:

* Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, Former Sec. General, The National Council of Churches, USA; Co-founder, Religious Partnership for the Environment; Chair, Global Peace Initiative of Women
* Sister Luciana, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Brazil
* Richard Cizik, Fellow at the Open Society; Founder, New Evangelicals, USA
* Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun, Renowned Author, Prominent Voice in Interfaith Affairs

NGO Forum Location: Villa de Cambio Climático, Boulevard Luis Donaldo Colosio, Kilómetro 7.5 de la Carretera Cancún-Chetumal, Benito Juárez Cancún, Quintana Roo
1-2pm LUNCH (TBD)
2-6pm Registration at the UN Moon Palace (Open from 2-6pm)
Free Afternoon and Evening

Tuesday, November 30th

Morning TBD
12pm Departure for KlimaForum (GPIW Bus)
1pm-3pm KlimaForum Event – The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change
Moderator: Dena Merriam
Presenters include:

* Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, Former Sec. General, The National Council of Churches, USA; Co-founder, Religious Partnership for the Environment; Chair, Global Peace Initiative of Women, USA
* Sister Luciana, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Brazil
* Ven. Chang Ji, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, Canada
* Richard Cizik, Fellow at the Open Society; Founder, New Evangelicals, USA
* Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun, Renowned Author, Prominent Voice in Interfaith Affairs, USA

Afternoon Meditation/Prayer (Brahma Kumaris Tent)
5-7pm Internal Strategy Meeting for delegation (Gran Melia Cancun Ibiza Room)

Wednesday, December 1st

10am Depart for UN (Free Shuttle Bus)
Registration at the UN (Open 7:15am – 6pm)
Attend Morning Events at UN
Free Afternoon and Return to Hotel (Free Shuttle Bus)
6pm Return to UN (Free Shuttle Bus)
Dinner
8:15-9:45pm UN Evening Side event – The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change (Monarca Room)
Moderator: Dena Merriam
Presenters include:

* Sr. Jayanti, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, U
* Ven. Chang Ji, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, Canada
* Richard Cizik, Fellow at the Open Society; Founder, New Evangelicals, USA
* Sraddhalu Ranade, Scientist, Teacher at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India
* Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun, Renowned Author, Prominent Voice in Interfaith Affairs, USA

UN side Event Location: Cancun Messe

Thursday, December 2nd

9-11am GPIW Internal Meeting
Free Morning and Afternoon
6:30pm Depart for Brahma Kumaris Beach House
7pm Evening meditation followed by Dinner

Friday, December 3rd

7am Depart for Day trip to Chichen Itza
9:15am Spiritual Ceremony and Tour of the Ruins
12:00pm Break
12:30pm Discussion between Religious Leaders and Mayan Priests
1:45pm Lunch
4:00pm Return trip to Cancun

Sunday, December 4th

All day Departures

Brahma Kumaris events:

Program of Activities:

Plenary – Climate Change Demands Inner Change
08/12/2010 10:00 – 12:00

Panel: Paulina Monforte, Youth Environmental Network, Mexico, Luciana Ferraz, Coordinator, Brahma Kumaris, Brazil Piero Musini, Organic Farmer, Italy
Moderator: Valeriane Bernard, BK NGO Representative, Geneva, Switzerland.

To move into an era of greater care for the Earth we need to connect deeply with our spiritual values, and to help others do the same in meaningful and uplifting ways. Find out for yourself how these ‘inside out’ changes feel and work in our lives.

Wednesday 8th Dec
10.00 – 12.00

CLIMATE CHANGE MEETINGS
CANCUN, MEXICO

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU)
Program of Activities
Climate Change Meetings, Cancun, Mexico
27th Nov.- Dec. 10, 2010

AT A GLANCE

Saturday 27th Nov.
8:30-9:30 Youth Climate Forum – Universidad del Caribe
“Consciousness and Climate: Confluence of Two Living Systems” - in English – Vivien von Son

12:30-14:00 Youth Climate Forum – Universidad del Caribe
“Climate Change Demands Inner Change” – in Spanish – Vivien von Son

Sunday 28th Nov.
8:30-9:00 KlimaForum – Daily Morning Meditation

Monday 29th Nov.
10:00-12:00 KlimaForum Plenary – “The Future Village” – Joachim Pilz

13:00-15:00 KlimaForum BK Tent – “Natural Farming and Yogic Agriculture” – Piero Musini

17:30 KlimaForum – Circular Dance

11:00-13:00 Climate Change Village
“The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change: Addressing the Environmental Crisis from a Spiritual Perspective” – Brahma Kumaris in co-operation with Global Peace Initiative of Women

17:30 KlimaForum10 – Lugar: Carpa BK
Danzas Circulares – Facilitadora: Kitzia Weiss

Tuesday 30th Nov.
13:00-15:00 KlimaForum Plenary
“The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change: Addressing the Environmental Crisis from a Spiritual Perspective” – Brahma Kumaris in co-operation with Global Peace Initiative of Women

Wednesday 1st Dec.
11:00-13:00 KlimaForum BK Tent – “Livestock’s Long Shadow” – Renaud Russeil

17:30 KlimaForum – Circular Dance

20:15-21:45 Side event COP16 – Room Monarca, Cancun Messe
“The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change”
Global Peace Initiative of Women in co-operation with the Brahma Kumaris

Thursday 2nd Dec.
10:00-12:00 KlimaForum Plenary – “Consciousness and Climate – Confluence of Two Living Systems” – Sister Jayanti

Friday 3rd Dec.
7:00-18:00 Chichen Itza, Sacred Mayan Site.
A Program to Awaken the Inner Dimensions of Climate Change at Chichen Itza” – Global Peace Initiative of Women in co-operation with the Brahma Kumaris

Saturday 4th Dec.
11:00-13:00 Climate Change Village
“Consciousness and Climate: Confluence of Two Living Systems” – Sister Jayanti and Joachim Golo Pilz, Moderator: Patricia Itterguri

17:30 KlimaForum – Circular Dance

Monday 6th Dec.
13:00-15:00 KlimaForum BK Tent: “Natural Farming and Yogic Agriculture” – Piero Musini

20:00-22:00
Lecture “Time to Change” – Sister Jayanti

Tuesday 7th Dec.
15:00-17:00 KlimaForum Plenary
“From Fear to Non-Violence for a Sustainable Future” – Renaud Russeil

13:00-15:00 Climate Change Village
“Use of Renewable Energy for a Better Future in India”
Joachim Golo Pilz

Wednesday 8th Dec.
10:00-12:00 KilmaForum Plenary – “Climate Change Demands Inner Change”
Panel: Paulina Monforte, Youth Environmental Network, Mexico, Luciana Ferraz, Brahma Kumaris Brazil, and Piero Musini, Organic Farmer, Italy. Moderator: Valeriane Bernard, Switzerland.

Thursday 9th Dec.
11:00-13:00 KlimaForum BK Tent – “Livestock’s Long Shadow” – Renaud Russeil

Detailed Program at Different Locations:

United Nations Climate Change Conference
Cancun – COP16

Brahma Kumaris are admitted as Observers with Exhibition and Side Event to COP16, the UN’s Climate Change Conference, 29th Nov.-10th Dec. at Cancun Messe.

Shared Exhibition: Brahma Kumaris will explore how thoughts affect matter and how a shift in consciousness can transform current deteriorating conditions. They will also be highlighting their newest project using solar energy – 1,0 MW el. (3.5 Mw) Solar Thermal Power Plant

Side Event:

Wednesday 1st Dec.
20:15-21:45 Room Monarca, Cancun Messe
“The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change” Part III
The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and Global Peace Initiative of Women in a joint forum: Spiritual and religious leaders explore ways to inspire and motivate civil society to shift perceptions and behaviors to effect outer change and reverse damage to our environment.
Moderator: Dena Merriam, Convener & Founder, GPIW
Speakers:
* Sister Jayanti, European Director, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, UK
* Richard Cizik, Fellow at the Open Society; Founder, New Evangelicals, USA
* Sraddhalu Ranade, Scientist, Teacher at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India
* Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun, Renowned Author, Prominent Voice in Interfaith Affairs, USA
* Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, Former Sec. General, The National Council of Churches, USA; Co-founder, Religious Partnership for the Environment; Chair, GPIW

KlimaForum10
Camino de los cenotes, Puerto Morelos, Q. Roo.

Participation in KlimaForum10 – the Civil Society Climate Forum – Puerto Morelos, Cancun.
28th Nov.-10th Dec. Exhibition tentm (BK Tent) workshops and meditations.

8:30-9:00 KlimaForum – Daily Morning Meditation
The goal of KlimaForum meditations is to begin each day from a position of inner freedom, depth, inspiration, and reflection. There will be 30 mins. of guided meditation followed by a discussion/reflection on the role of spirituality in times of transition and change.

Circular Dance - Monday 29th Nov., Wednesday 1st Dec. and Saturday 4th Dec. at 5:30 pm
The Circular Dances are a selection of dances from different times, places, and styles. They are expressed with easy movements to create a state of contentment and introspection. With feelings of sharing values and good wishes the focus is on having a connection to the inner power of each individual. Thus creating energy that integrates the group and gives the energy of wellbeing to the elements and nature. These dances of peace create harmony between human beings and the natural elements.

Monday 29th Nov.
10:00-12:00 KlimaForum Plenary: “The Future Village”
Speaker: Joachim Golo Pilz, Solar Advisor, World Spiritual Renewal Trust (WSRT)
Global Hosptial and Research Centre (GHRC), Internationaler Landlicher Entwicklungsdienst and India Care, propose establishing a model village that incorporates environmentally sensitive housing, organic farming; and ecological agriculture for sustainable development. We would generate, and export, renewable energy sources to local neighborhoods. The GHRC has a spiritual background and so supports the project’s vision of a peaceful, holistic lifestyle

13:00-15:00 KlimaForum BK Tent: “Natural Farming and Yogic Agriculture
Speaker: Piero Musini, Italy, Organic Farmer
By uplifting the social and economical conditions of rural people using organic methods and yoga vibrations for cultivating nutritious agricultural products, we can increase the wellbeing and livelihoods of rural populations. We offer a presentation on the benefits of organic, sustainable and ecologically considerate farming, with practical examples of yogic agriculture from India.

Tuesday 30th Nov.
13:00-15:00 KlimaForum Plenary
“The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change: Addressing the Environmental Crisis from a Spiritual Perspective” Part II
Co-sponsored by: The Brahma Kumaris in co-operation with Global Peace Initiative of Women
To reverse the damage to our environmental and effectively address climate change, every individual will need to take responsibility. It must be a collective grassroots effort. Governments alone cannot do what needs to be done. It will take a massive civil society movement. Already shifts are happening. Spiritual practices – meditation, prayer, reflection – are key to changing perceptions and behavior. What inner transformations need to take place? What are the principles that must guide our actions? How can these practices effect outer change?

Presenters include:
* Dena Merriam, Convener & Founder, GPIW (Moderator)
* Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, Former Sec. General, The National Council of Churches, USA; Co-founder, Religious Partnership for the Environment; Chair, Global Peace Initiative of Women
* Sister Luciana, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Brazil
* Richard Cizik, Fellow at the Open Society; Founder, New Evangelicals, USA
* Sraddhalu Ranade, Scientist, Teacher at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India
* Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun, Renowned Author, Prominent Voice in Interfaith Affairs

Afternoon in the KlimaForum BK Tent
Spiritual practices and meditation with spiritual leaders will be held during the day to honour the sacredness of Mother Earth and create positive energy to support the negotiations. In co-operation with Global PEace Initiative of Women, who are bringing a group of spiritual leaders to the KlimaForum.

[...]

Thursday 2nd Dec.
10:00-12:00 KlimaForum Plenary
“Consciousness and Climate: Confluence of Two Living Systems”
Sister Jayanti describes how consciousness and thoughts impact the physical state of our world. Thoughts affect everything. They create the attitudes behind our decisions and lifestyles. The result? the environmental crisis. The solution: a profound shift in awareness.

Monday 6th Dec.
13:00-15:00 KlimaForum BK Tent – “Natural Farming and Yogic Agriculture
Speaker: Piero Musini, Italy
By uplifting the social and economical conditions of rural people using organic methods and yoga vibrations for cultivating nutritious agricultural products, we can increase the wellbeing and livelihoods of rural populations. We offer a presentation on the benefits of organic, sustainable and ecologically considerate farming, with practical examples of yogic agriculture from India.

[...]

Wednesday 8th Dec.
10:00-12:00 KlimaForum Plenary – “Climate Change Demands Inner Change
Panel: Paulina Monforte, Youth Environmental Network, Mexico, Luciana Ferraz, Coordinator, Brahma Kumaris, Brazil, Piero Musini, Organic Farmer, Italy.
Moderator: Valeriane Bernard, BK NGO Representative, Geneva, Switzerland.
To move into an era of greater care for the Earth we need to connect deeply with our spiritual values, and to help others do the same in meaningful and uplifting ways. Find out for yourself how these ‘inside out’ changes feel and work in our lives.

[...]

Monday 29th Nov.
11:00-13:00 – Foro 100
“The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change: Addressing the Environmental Crisis from a Spiritual Perspective”
Co-sponsored by: The Brahma Kumaris in co-operation with Global Peace Initiative of Women
The environmental crisis is really a moral and spiritual crisis, a crisis of consciousness in modern society. To reverse the damage to our environmental and effectively address climate change, every individual will need to take responsibility.

* Dena Merriam, Convener & Founder, GPIW (Moderator)
* Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, Former Sec. General, The National Council of Churches, USA; Co-founder, Religious Partnership for the Environment; Chair, Global Peace Initiative of Women
* Sister Luciana, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Brazil
* Richard Cizik, Fellow at the Open Society; Founder, New Evangelicals, USA
* Sraddhalu Ranade, Scientist, Teacher at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India
* Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun, Renowned Author, Prominent Voice in Interfaith Affairs

Saturday 4th Dec.
11:00-13:00 – Cultural Events Forum.
Consciousness and Climate – Confluence of To Living Systems’
Dialogue Facilitator: Patricia Iturreguri, ex-negotiator of Climate Change.
Sister Jayanti, European Director Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Joachim Golo Pilz, Solar Advisor, World Spiritual Renewal Trust (WSRT)

What the world needs at this time is a profound shift in awareness – a shift in the thinking that is producing our current crisis. Expanding the Climate Change conversation to include the inner dimension, will transform the quality of the conversation and possible agenda for action among stakeholders.
Sister Jayanti, a meditation practitioner of more than 40 years and spiritual expert on the living system of the soul and how it impacts the living system of matter, in dialogue with Joachim Golo Pilz an entrepreneur in the field of solar power plants and alternative energy forms.

[...]

Youth Climate Forum. COY6

Saturday 27th Nov.
8:30-9:30 “Consciousness and Climate – Confluence of Two Living Systems” – In English
Speaker: Dr. Vivien von Son, Mexico,

Describes how consciousness and thoughts impact the physical state of our world. Thoughts affect everything. They create the attitudes behind our decisions and lifestyles. The result: the environmental crisis. The solution: a profound shift in awareness. Vivien von Son has a background in industrial design together with being a spiritual teacher at the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.

Saturday 27th Nov.
12:30-14:00 “Climate Change demands Inner Change” – In Spanish
Speaker: Dr. Vivien von Son, Mexico,
To move into an era of greater care for the Earth we need to connect deeply with our spiritual values, and to help others do the same in meaningful and uplifting ways. Find out for yourself how these ‘inside out’ changes feel and work in our lives. Workshop in Spanish with meditation teacher Vivien von Son, meditation teacher from Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and IDASH, A.C.

Monday 6th Dec.
20:00-22:00 “Time to Change…”
Speaker: Sister Jayanti, European Director, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. Main BK Representative for the United Nations, Geneva

The current issues around climate change encourage all of us to revise our way of thinking as well as our lifestyles. We welcome you to join us in a program with Sister Jayanti, who has been invited to Copenhagen in December as one of 20 spiritual leaders from all over the world. She will share her perspective on how to think in a new and refreshing way, that has both a positive and profound effect on both our minds and our environment. Sister Jayanti’s powerful personality and gentle radiance have touched and inspired millions of people all over the world.

Side Events and Exhibits:

side events:

Wednesday,
01 December

Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW), Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU)
Ms. Marianne Marstrand
marstrandm@gpiw.org

page 18:
http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/cop_16/side_events_exhibits/application/pdf/cop16_seebrochure.pdf

The inner dimensions of climate change
The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and Global Peace Initiative of Women in
a joint forum: Spiritual and religious leaders explore ways to inspire and motivate civil
society to shift perceptions and behaviors to effect outer change and reverse damage
to our environment.

Tuesday, 07 December

World Council of Churches (WCC), ACT Alliance – Action by Churches Together (ACT Alliance),
Caritas Internationalis (CI)
Mr. Elias Abramides
eliasabramides@gmail.com

Faith based organisations advocate for climate justice
Communities address climate change, poverty and sustainable development, offering ethical contributions to international negotiations through awareness raising, social mobilization and advocacy. Case study on Nicaragua and interfaith theological approaches from christian and muslim perspectives.

page 32:
http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/cop_16/side_events_exhibits/application/pdf/cop16_seebrochure.pdf

List of Exhibits:

ACT Alliance – Action by Churches Together (ACT Alliance)
Ms. Marian Casey
Marian.Casey@actalliance.org

Focusing on how communities can make a difference – using a variety of media displaying the work of ACT members on climate change mitigation and adaptation around the world.

Stand 132 / Both weeks

page 43:
http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/cop_16/side_events_exhibits/application/pdf/cop16_seebrochure.pdf

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU)
Ms. Sonja Maria Ohlsson
copenhagen@dk.bkwsu.org

Combined exhibition: Interfaith declaration on climate change will hold a press conference and panel discussion and will collect signatures for the Declaration. Brahma Kumaris will explore how thoughts affect matter and how a shift in consciousness can transform current deteriorating conditions.

Stand 1 / Both weeks

page 43:
http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/cop_16/side_events_exhibits/application/pdf/cop16_seebrochure.pdf

Christian Aid (CA)
Ms. Mariana Paoli
mpaoli@christian-aid.org

The Time for Climate Justice campaign is an initiative of Aprodev agencies and our partners in the global south
to achieve a fair and ambitious international climate deal. This exhibit aims to provide information and to
encourage decision-makers and other representatives to engage in the campaign.

Stand 136 / Both weeks

page 45:
http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/cop_16/side_events_exhibits/application/pdf/cop16_seebrochure.pdf

========================================

::ENDLINKS::

official COP16 websites:
http://cc2010.mx/en/
http://unfccc.int/2860.php

Global Peace Initiative of Women
Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
Sister Joan Chittister
Richard Cizik
World Council of Churches

ACT Alliance
Temple of Understanding
============================================

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 1
UN Climate Change Summit (COP15) Copenhagen, December 2009
Church bells ringing out warning on climate change! pagan “Christian” church service complete with altar full of corn, coral, and rocks… Eco-fraud Rachel Carson and DDT, lots of Interfaithism, New Age, and Paganism

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 2
United Nations World Urban Forum (WUF3) 2006 Vancouver
UN participants wanting to Rezone-Out Churches and Rezone-in Interfaith Community Centers? Thanks, U.N.! David Suzuki calling us maggots, whiny eco-gal Severn Suzuki, fun with paganism, burning a 14 foot demon effigy, the child-eating Rangda leads an army of evil witches!

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 3
The Ground Zero Imam and an Interfaith Explosion
The U.N., Glenn Beck, Temple of Understanding, Aspen Institute, reading the Koran in church, and the Ground Zero Imam… Soooo Interfaithy!!

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 4
Obama/Hillary and Freedom of Religion vs. Freedom of Worship
What’s the deal with Obama’s use of “Freedom of Worship” instead of “Freedom of Religion”?

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 5
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC
The Grand Procession of the Ghouls, Blessing of the bicycles, the creepy Peace Fountain, The Peace Altar, Paul Winter’s Earth Mass and Summer/Winter Solstice concert, Blessing of the Animals, Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, The Temple of Understanding, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, William Irwin Thompson, The Lindisfarne Association, Madeleine L’Engle, Rev. James Parks Morton, United Nations Sunday, and Christa: a crucifix depicting Christ as a woman… and more!

The UN Meddling with Religion, Part 6
UN Climate Change Summit (COP16) Cancun, Nov/Dec 2010
The Invoking of Ixchel, lots of meditating/Circular Dancing/and Sacred Sunrise Ceremonies, Mayan Mania/drama at Chichen Itza/and a whole bunch of fun with Brahma Kumaris… Mother Earth is the lady of the hour and boy do those Indigenous Peoples sure know how to complain…

The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 7
1992 Earth Summit in Rio
Invoking Iemanja the “goddess” of the sea, Shirley MacLaine meditating with the Dalai Lama, John Denver crooning, Shamans threatening Bush Sr. with that Shamany thing they do best, drinking hallucinogenic tea, thanking bananas as they are eaten, Maurice Strong and his wife Hanne and her Wisdom Keepers keeping up a constant drumbeat throughout the proceedings, John Kerry (of Vietnam fame) making a love connection!

The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 8
Actual Evil Within the United Nations
Lucifer-revering New Age Theosophy/ the UN Meditation Room/ Lucis Publishing Company used to be named the Lucifer Publishing Company? Really??/ Theosophy groups meditating inside the UN Meditation Room according to the changing of the moon/ the Lucis Trust evil prayer The Great Invocation was once published in Reader’s Digest? Really??/ UN’s General Assembly room contains a being called The Avatar of Synthesis? Really??/ UN Catholic chapel and Interfaith chapel.

The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 9
Cooperation Circles and the United Religions Initiative
Bishop William Swing and his United Religions Initiative/webs of Interfaith Cooperation Circles/Wiccan Donald Frew and his traditional Wiccan foundation blessing while Bishop William Swing joins in and raises his arms in invocation. Sigh.

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