With delegates from nearly 1,200 urban and other governments as well as related organizations in attendance, the ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability recently discussed how cities, which hold more than half the global population, could respond to climate change effects, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and disease.
R. Martin Lees – Senior Advisor to the Club of Rome, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General (M): We are approaching a number of tipping points, particularly in relation to climate change and to ocean and terrestrial ecosystems. If we pass these points, corrective action will both be immensely expensive and very probably ineffective.
VOICE: To demonstrate the importance of putting green ideas into practice, a meat-free day was also announced as part of the 3-day conference, which would promote the vegan lifestyle as an effective environmental solution.
Jeb Brugmann – Founder of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability (M): We should try to have a diet that is thoughtful about its impacts on the Earth.
VOICE: In cooperation with hosting venue Songdo Convensia and the Meat Free Monday group, a gourmet vegan lunch and dinner were served along with a presentation about the nutritious low-carbon meals.
Lee Hyun-Joo – President of Meat Free Mondays, Oriental pharmacist, Vegan (F): It is the symbol of the best solution to climate change, for the health of the Earth and its residents.
Lee Hyun-Joo, Vegan (F): The fact that people all over the world can be happy by sharing such a diet together shows our alternative for the future.
Dorji Wangdi – Minister for Labor & Human Resources, Bhutan (M): [The speech] was sort of a total solution, information for us to really give up meat. (dining at table) I like this dish very much, very delicious.
Helena Molin Valdes – Deputy Director, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (F): (dining) It looks very tasty when you receive it, and secondly it also is very tasty. It’s a very important statement to make when we say that we are building eco-efficient resilient cities, which this conference is all about.
VOICE: Conference VIPs also received a related vegan information brochure, which featured the slogan originally created by Supreme Master Ching Hai stating, “Don’t give up everything 2 b WORLDSAVER JUSTBVEGAN.” Government leaders commented on how the meat-free day served as an encouragement to incorporate vegan fare into their own eco-friendly measures.
Abdul Sathar – Kurunegala Municipal Council Member, Sri Lanka (M): We also discussed in our country also, we’ll introduce this meat-free meal. It’s very nice, very delicious and good for health.
VOICE: Hats off and our appreciation, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Meat Free Monday, and all involved for your green event! May cities across the globe quickly adopt the sustainable and joyful plant-based way of living.
Jeb Brugmann – Founder of ICLEI (M): Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
Dorji Wangdi – Minister of Labor, Bhutan (M): Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
In a November 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai urged all world leaders to shift to the cost-effective, planet-saving vegan diet.