The socially engaged Japanese Nichiren Buddhist organization, Soka Gakkai International (SGI), which participated in the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which It took place from November 30 to November 12. December in Dubai called for the active inclusion of global youth in the political processes surrounding the global climate crisis.
In a Dec. 24 statement shared with BDG, the SGI also called for “greater representation of youth from conflict-affected areas, indigenous youth, and youth with disabilities, adding: “As Buddhists, SGI participants also asked for the views of religious actors. be included in political decisions.
COP28 saw the launch of the first-ever Youth Review of UNFCCC processes by YOUNGO, the official youth group of the UNFCCC, which called for recognition of the importance of intergenerational dialogue on climate-related matters. YOUNGO also recommended other sustainable and long-term strategies to enable youth to participate in climate policymaking, calling for funding for youth climate innovations and training opportunities for state parties on effective practices. inclusion of young people.
“Youth tokenism is no longer acceptable,” observed SGI-UK representative Lucy Plummer. Plummer, who is also a member of YOUNGO, continued: “The stakes are higher than ever, and young people have important ideas, perspectives and contributions to make. »
The Dubai conference also featured the first Faith Pavilion at a COP meeting, which provided an open venue where statements from religious leaders could be shared, and an opportunity for interfaith dialogue and in-depth discussions on perspectives of faith-based organizations and their communities. the partners.
“As one of the original signatories to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, SGI co-hosted an event at Faith Pavilion promoting the idea of its adoption,” SGI said. “At COP28, a stronger dynamic was generated, represented by the approval of the Colombian government. »
The Italian Buddhist Institute Soka Gakkai (IBISG) organized a round table at the Pavilion of Faith, attended by three winners of the Youth4Climate 2023 call for solutions from Benin, Mali and Tunisia. A global initiative led by the Italian government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Italy, it received partial support from the IBISG via Italy's "eight per thousand" law, which directs 0,8 percent of a taxpayer's income tax to the religious organization of his or her choice. .
“COP28 took several positive steps, including recognizing the need to move away from fossil fuels, committing to tripling renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030, and Operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund”, SGI Office for the UN. Business Representative Alexandra Goossens-Ishii commented as the climate forum concluded. “However, as the COP28 outcome is a compromise to reach consensus among all member states, it is weaker than many would have liked, including small island developing states, in terms of failure to commit to a complete elimination of fossil fuels. . UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell concluded with a message to ordinary people around the world: “Every one of you makes a difference, your voices and your determination will be more important than ever. »
Founded in 1930, Soka Gakkai (the Value Creation Society) is a Japanese Buddhist movement based on the teachings of the 1222th century Buddhist priest Nichiren (1282-XNUMX). Nichiren taught devotion to Lotus Sutra, believed to contain the teachings of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, near the end of his life, as the exclusive means of achieving enlightenment. The Soka Gakkai centers its teachings on Lotus Sutrawith recitation of the mantraNam-myoho-renge-kyo» (“Glory to the Dharma of the Lotus Sutra”) as his main devotional practice.
Soka Gakkai International, founded by Daisaku Ikeda in 1975, is an NGO with consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC. As a global community Buddhist organization that promotes peace, culture and education based on respect for the dignity of life, Soka Gakkai is involved in activism, education and policy for peace, with members in 192 countries and territories around the world.
Among Soka Gakkai's most prominent members are actor Orlando Bloom, jazz musician Herbie Hancock and singer Tina Turner.
Nature is not something that human beings can use and exploit as they see fit, solely for their own interests. Nature and humanity are an integral part of the life of the universe. Nature and humanity are one. . . . To destroy the natural world is to destroy human life. —Daisaku Ikeda