One of the main activities of Gomde Trust is the maintenance of the woodland with help from volunteers. The need for more awareness and care for the environment was clarified by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche when he spoke about the wider need for conservation in an interview with author Daniel Goleman

“We talk a lot about protecting and safeguarding the environment, about the importance of organic foods, and so on. The point, however, is not just to talk about it, but to make sure that we actually do take care of our environment. What we do will have very far reaching consequences, affecting even the most subtle forms of life on this planet. We need to prevent future disaster, and to do that we must first of all seek to understand what direction we are moving in. We must try to identify where things have gone wrong and discuss how we can best restore and improve wherever there are problems. In this way, we way we can make sure that the future is a happy one. If the outer environment is healthy and in balance, the physical well-being of all who inhabit it can also improve, and this, in turn, allows for peace of mind, kind heartedness, and brightness of the mind. In short, we can come to experience true joy and fulfilment.

On the other hand, what ­prevents this is, basically, human craving and selfishness: Having no concern for what may happen later; simply thinking that the elements are there to be exploited; for me to become as rich as possible – even if it means poisoning the world — that type of selfish attitude. So what we think and do matters.”

and in another interview

“We human beings are greedy. On one hand we feel smart because we are very civilized, we have so much technology, and we have become rich and comfortable. A few thousand years ago, people lived hard lives. There were no airplanes, cars, or even bicycles, and travel was difficult. Worse, there were no modern medicines, not even proper eyeglasses! Now we are attached to our comfort and our high standard of living. On the other hand, we are just burning through everything, expanding our population, and using up the earth’s natural resources. It’s unbelievable. We are actually just living greedily in short-term luxury – but the way we live now will affect everything for a long time. The damage will not be minor at all – it might assume such proportions that life will end up much worse than it was thousands of years ago.

As human beings, we are getting into very dangerous territory. The children of the future will face great difficulties and danger: shortage of water, food, medicine – shortage of everything. This is a very real danger, not only for humans but also for all the animals. Our world could turn into a desert and we really need to be aware of this.

Right now, we are in the middle of an emergency. Every day we are falling further behind and remedial actions are getting postponed. We shouldn’t wait years, even months because each day we are causing further damage to ourselves. We can no longer think simply about Tibet, Asia, and America since this crisis is assuming global proportions and affecting the whole planet.

Now, primarily, this is in the hands of politicians. But we also need to have religious leaders, scientists, climatologists and the relevant experts discuss this issue and come to agreement as to how to best solve this problem. We need the leaders of all religions to be involved. It’s very important that religious leaders, politicians, business people, and industrialists have a genuine dialogue now. I think everybody will care, if not for other reasons, then at least for his or her future descendants. This is about our own children, grandchildren and their sons and daughters.”

Excerpt from interview by John & Diane Stanley,
Bodnath, Nepal, 24th March 2007

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