On Saturday, December 3, thousands of activists from around the world joined in a peaceful rally through the streets of Durban, South Africa, calling for decisive action from the United Nations Climate Change Conference as participants enter their second and final week of discussion. Supreme Master Television’s correspondent explores one promising solution for all stakeholders.
Correspondent (F): Greetings. Here in the African continent, the time-honored traditions of agriculture have been built on consistent rainfall patterns. However, farmers are now finding that, due to climate change, they can no longer count on the weather the way that previous generations had.
Paul Okongo – farmer, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (M): We farmers who are outside there, we are the feelers, we are the detectors of this. There is climate change, and something must be done, and it should be done now.
Correspondent (F): Feeling the threat of global warming to food security, growers from across Africa are here at COP 17 calling for what they say is climate justice, which includes commitments to greenhouse gas mitigation measures as well as adaptation support. Both farmers and governments in Africa support organic farming as important for a greener future.
Edna Molewa – Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa (F): Ways and means that can help us get organic farming into larger scales, I think, will actually respond to the current challenges that we have.
Paul Okongo – farmer (M): If you put a lot of organic matter in the soil, then the produce is safe from these chemicals, metallic things and all these, all free from sewages. So we advocate safe food – mainly organic farming.
VOICE: To ensure the most effective solution overall, experts have also pointed out the need to address the adverse climate effects of livestock raising. A report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that animal agriculture accounts for at least 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, with more recent research by the World Watch Institute finding that the livestock industry alone is responsible for more than 51% of global emissions.
Dr. Patrick Bond (M): Meat is the main disastrous force for climate change, because of the methane that’s coming from cows, but also the transport. And the ways in which we treat animals are terrible and uncivilized. If you believe in climate justice, then you should become a vegetarian.
Correspondent (F): To raise awareness of the organic vegan farming and diet solution to climate change, the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association held a gala dinner for delegates featuring an urgent video message by Supreme Master Ching Hai and respected guest speakers.
Members have meanwhile been speaking daily with hundreds of people at two booths and offering free vegan food samples. Some 10,000 informative flyers have also been given out over the last several days in various parts of Durban, with people showing their eagerness to find out more about the state of the planet and the healthy, emissions-reducing vegan diet.
Romica Milupi – Zambian activist (F): I want to support to be vegetarian. No more meat. I want just to go on vegetables, so that I can keep the environment.
Edna Molewa (F): We need to push hard and push ourselves to save this planet. We need to really save this planet.
Correspondent (F): Reporting for Supreme Master Television from Durban, South Africa.
VOICE: We thank all climate summit delegates, concerned scientists and citizens who are helping advance us toward sustainable actions. May we move swiftly to develop the most humane and health-promoting agriculture and lifestyles to save our planet.
In an interview during the December 2010 climate change talks in Cancún, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed her urgent wish for leaders to adopt the organic vegan solution.
Sources: All Africa, Huffington Post, News24, VOA News