Speaking at the 5th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries in New Delhi, Ramesh said that the challenge was to find ways to fulfill development aspirations while protecting natural resources at the same time.

"We should have conservation that marries human aspirations with the imperative of respecting bio-diversity. The challenge is how to fulfill those aspirations while protecting water resources and forests and ensuring that the fragile balance of nature does not get disturbed," he said.

He spoke against unbridled consumer expansion because that would be a recipe for ecological disaster as resources are indeed finite.

Khoryug is a pan-Himalayan organization founded by the 17th Karmapa with the aim of applying the values of compassion and interdependence in the area of community-based environmental protection.

Ramesh, who is a former Environment Minister, said "It is beyond doubt that most of the glaciers are actually retreating. This has great impact on water security in the entire Himalayan basin. This is an issue of paramount significance for us in India."

He commended the regional approach taken by Khoryug.

"You are poised to play a very important role in disseminating the knowledge of the environmental threats," Ramesh said.

He remarked that Buddhist teachings themselves are an important source of inspiration for environmental activism in India.

"Much of the veneration that Indians have for nature comes from our long and glorious Buddhist heritage. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that both Buddhism and even Jainism has contributed to our consciousness on preservation of nature, respect for bio-diversity, respect for conservation and respect for life in all its forms," he added.


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