DDM hosts the 2010 International Forum on Charity for environmentalist causes

From 25 to 27 September, 2010, Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) specially hosted ‘The 2010 International Forum on Charity and Humanitarian Care’ at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan Township, Taipei County, to promote exchange regarding environmentalism and emergency relief work with other domestic and abroad non-governmental organizations.

Sixteen professionals and experts on climate change, emergency relief and post-trauma counseling from Taiwan, Hong Kong, India and Malaysia were invited to share and discuss their experiences at the three-day forum.

Honorable guests included Dr. Yue-Hwa Yu, Prof. Environmental Engineering Department of National Taiwan University, Dr. Chung-Ming Liu, Prof. Atmospheric Science Department of National Taiwan University, Mr. Mihir Joshi, Coordinator of Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network, Ms. Takako Isumi, General Manager for Operations of Mercy Malaysia, Mr. Chao-Lung Hsieh, Deputy Secretary-General of Taiwan’s the Red Cross Society and Mr. Wing-Ching To, Executive Director of Post Crisis Counseling Network Limited in Hong Kong.

The three-day forum attracted over five hundred attendees.

Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong presented his warmest blessings ahead of the inauguration. The Abbot President first of all expounded that the purpose of hosting the forum was to raise awareness on climate change and the need to care for our surroundings.

“Suffering in life will not end, if one’s mind toward nature were to remain the same,” the Abbot President stressed. He went on to say that the more heavily populated the area, the more fragile the environment becomes. When the population was small and technology was not well developed, the impact to nature was probably restricted to a small areas or region. However, with the growth of population and the rapid development of technology, the destruction of nature as a consequence of human activities has been far-reaching and evident, such as the loss of rainforests, the erosion of soil pollution to water and air, the loss of biodiversity and desertification.

He also stressed that damage as a result of climate change are now greater than ever. In the face of an uncertain future, we should act immediately instead of doing nothing or lying back helplessly. Our relationship with our natural environment should be one of compatibility; after all, keeping the earth healthy ensures the welfare and sustainability of human beings.

The late Master Sheng Yen had taught that “protecting the environment must originate from the transformation of oneself…this is the most important point. If one was reluctant to change to one’s habits and lifestyle, cherish our living environment or live with less material desire, our goal cannot be achieved.”

“The future of the earth is decided by our behaviors toward nature in next fifty years,” Dr. Chung-Ming Liu said.

All professionals with different expertise concluded that the success of environmentalism and the sustainability of the earth ultimately depends on the transformation of one’s mind.

(by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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