Kindness to the Earth Focus of Dalai Lama's Australia Tour

SYDNEY, Australia, April 19, 2007 (ENS) - When His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, travels Australia in June as part of his ongoing world tour, many of his talks will have an environmental focus, and for the first time, a portion of the tour will be carbon neutral.

The spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people and 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner says, "This planet is our own home. Taking care of our world, our planet, is just like taking care of our own home. Our very lives depend upon this Earth, our environment."

Both the Australian Conservation Foundation and Greening Australia, specialists in native vegetation management, will be involved in the tour events scheduled to take place in the Domain, Sydney.

Greening Australia will be conducting a carbon audit for the Domain segment of the tour, providing the organizers with a neutral carbon output result for the events. Included in the calculations will be the details for the Dalai Lama's flights, as well as those of his entourage.

Trees will be planted to neutralize the greenhouse gas emissions, making this the first carbon neutral tour ever undertaken by the Dalai Lama.

At a time when Australia is tackling issues such as water shortages and the challenges of climate change, the Dalai Lama brings teachings of kindness, compassion and tolerance.

Dalai Lama

His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet (Photo courtesy The Dalai Lama)
The Dalai Lama has long considered environmental issues to be among the key challenges currently facing humanity.

"There is suffering on this planet and there is a need to strengthen our love for our planet and our service to the living Earth," says His Holiness. "We think we can control nature, which is a false perception."

During the 11 days from the opening of the Open Arms – Embracing Kindness tour in Perth June 6 to the final events in Sydney June 16, free public events will be held across the country, allowing all Australians an opportunity to hear the Dalai Lama’s messages.

With concern for the environment at an all time high across Australia, the Dalai Lama will address issues of environmental consciousness and the challenges of climate change.

Organized by the Australian Conservation Foundation, ACF, in collaboration with the Dalai Lama, a free Sustainability and Spirituality Forum will take place from on the morning of June 6 at the Burswood Dome in Perth.

His Holiness and ACF president Professor Ian Lowe, joined by other community and business leaders, will discuss the moral imperative to act on climate change.

The forum will conclude with a GreenHome workshop helping participants take the first steps towards reducing their own eco-footprints.

On June 13, the Dalai Lama launches Kindness Week at the Australia Zoo near Brisbane, Queensland with a talk on "Kindness To Animals and The Environment."

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama is a Mongolian title meaning "ocean of wisdom." (Photo courtesy Buddhism in Austria)
In Sydney on June 15, ACF will participate in the One Earth Forum tribute concert featuring some of Australia’s finest acoustic talent.

This free concert will be held in Sydney’s Domain in celebration of the Dalai Lama as a living example of the power of compassion and non-violence, the ACF said.

The Dalai Lama will speak at the event on the subject of "Peace through Inner Peace."

The ACF said, "His Holiness sees the planet and its peoples as interconnected, a view that is increasingly compelling in the 21st century, and resonates deeply with millions of people worldwide."

The Dalai Lama has been concerned about environmental protection for decades. To mark World Environment Day on June 5, 1986, he said, "Peace and the survival of life on earth as we know it are threatened by human activities which lack a commitment to humanitarian values. Destruction of nature and nature resources results from ignorance, greed and lack of respect for the earth's living things."

"This lack of respect extends even to Earth's human descendants, the future generations who will inherit a vastly degraded planet if world peace does not become a reality, and destruction of the natural environment continues at the present rate."

For more information on the Dalai Lama's tour in Australia, visit: www.dalailama.org.au