Dharamsala, June 26 (IANS) Tibet is highly vulnerable to climate change and its preservation is urgently needed, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the third most important Tibetan religious head, said on his 30th birthday on Friday.
He also warned that a lesson should be learnt from Nepal, which was devastated in the April 25 earthquake, and appealed to help rebuilding the Himalayan nation.
“Each year on my birthday, I recall not only my parents, but also the sparkling beauty of the pristine natural environment in which I was born and raised,” said the Buddhist monk, who fled Tibet in January 2000 and now resides in a monastery on the outskirts of Dharamsala.
“This intensifies my sense of urgency for the protection of the fragile ecosystems of the Tibetan plateau as well as the Himalayas. As I have said, the area’s glaciers make it the source of most of Asia’s major rivers, and the Third Pole of the globe itself. For this reason, the Tibetan plateau plays an important role,” he said in a message.
The Karmapa, who has decided not to celebrate his birthday, remembered the natural disaster that hit Nepal and stressed the need to preserve ecology.
“Nepal is still recovering from the terrible destruction and loss of life due to the recent earthquakes. I have asked my monasteries and nunneries to offer not only their prayers but also active and practical aid, and I request again now that they continue unflaggingly, as much rebuilding and healing still lies ahead,” he said.
An important institution in the Tibetan religious set-up, the Karmapa, whose literal meaning is the one who carries out Buddha-activity, is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu sect, one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
Both the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government have recognised Dorje as the 17th Karmapa.