THE ECOSIKH STORY
A Sikh Response to Climate Change...
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) was founded by His Royal Highness, the Prince Philip, in 1995. It is a secular body that helps the major religions develop environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices.
In November 2009, Sikh environmental leaders Baba Sewa Singh of Khadur Sahib, Amritsar and Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal of Sultanpur, Kapurthala Punjab, joined two hundred leaders from nine of the world’s major faiths: Baha’ism, Buddhism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism and Sikhism to gather in Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom to commit to long term practical action for the environment. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed the celebration, which was hosted by Prince Philip.
The Celebration at Windsor Castle came a month before the major Copenhagen Climate Change talks in December 2009 and was considered the first major, internationally coordinated commitment by the religions to the environment. The event was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and major secular bodies, including Conservation International, the Forest Stewardship Council, Fairtrade, and the World Wide Fund.
This laid the foundation, and EcoSikh was born. Through participative action and global support, the organization pledged and aligned with the global rally against climate change.
EcoSikh is an initiative that aims to build on this history and enable Sikh communities around the world to connect their efforts and work in solidarity with one another. The condition of our planet continues to deteriorate and unsustainable environmental practices are affecting every community worldwide. Punjab is among those areas being hit hardest by unsustainable practices and environmental exploitation, while at the same time hosting some of the best crafted and innovative responses to contemporary ecological crises.
EcoSikh provides a plan that we can all implement over the next five years to cultivate best practices, inspire on-the-ground activism, address the issues that each of our communities face, and celebrate the ways in which being Sikh is being green.
Sikhs have planted approximately 100,000 trees under EcoSikh in a pledge of 1 million trees worldwide.