REPORT: online event for UN Water Conference 2023
On 23 March 2023, the Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council, in collaboration with Yoga in Daily Life USA and the Committee for the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations, hosted an event as part of the UN Water Conference 2023 and in honour of the United Nations Decade Dedicated to Water.
Clean water is essential for health, sustainable economic development, agriculture, food security, and supporting ecosystems and biodiversity. Unfortunately, it is already foreseeable that global demand for water will exceed supply as early as 2030. Water scarcity threatens the health of the environment, people and all life on our planet. Adaptation strategies, mitigation measures, and innovative and sustainable water management solutions are vital to address this looming threat in the context of global climate change.
Launched by Vishwaguruji Paramhan's Sri Swami Maheshwarananda Puriji, founder of the Yoga in Daily Life system, and Om Ashram in Jadan, Rajasthan, the Desert Rainwater Harvesting Initiative – with the support of the Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council and the international Yoga in Daily Life community – provides a sustainable solution to the problems of water scarcity in desert areas and steppes. Its long-time effect, the raising of the groundwater level, is providing surrounding rural communities with access to fresh water and restoring biodiversity to their ecosystem.
This grassroots project is helping raise the water table, giving surrounding rural communities access to fresh water and restoring biodiversity to their ecosystem.
The conference began with a welcome address by program moderator Gregor Kos, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports in Slovenia and second Secretary General of the Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council.
This was followed by the keynote address by Vishwaguruji Paramhan's Sri Swami Maheshwarananda Puriji, on the theme: Where there is water, there is life. Vishwaguruji emphasized the wisdom and spiritual traditions of water use, according to the ancient Indian science of Yoga and Vedic culture. Water is the foundation of life on Earth and is therefore considered sacred in India.
A film about the Rainwater Harvesting Initiative, impressively demonstrated how a desert in Rajasthan, India, has been transformed into a green oasis.
The next speaker was Mrs Denise Scotto, Chair of the International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN. She spoke about the involvement of the yoga community at the United Nations in advocacy work on water.
Sadhvi Shanti Puri, author of 'The Healing Language of Nature' began with a Sanskrit mantra to Mother Nature. She reminded the audience to love Mother Earth and protect the sacred waterways in the Himalayas, and followed up with guiding a meditation.
Swami Yogesh Puri, chief architect of Om Ashram, presented photos of the comprehensive Rainwater Harvesting project, which includes a man-made lake, at OM Ashram, as an example of a sustainable local solution to a global challenge.
Swami Vivek Puri, Mahamandaleshwar of Maha Nirvani Akhara and co-founder of Yoga in Daily Life Croatia and Prof Dr Ezster Lukas, Vice President at the University of Gyor, Hungary, offered insights into the activities and initiatives to fulfil the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in their countries.
Finally, Ms Khyati Rathore, Climate Change Analyst at the World Bank, recapped the interesting and informative contributions of this conference and the main organisers of the event, Sarita, Director of SSMWPC from Vancouver and Kripadevi, from YIDL USA and representative of SSMWPC at the UN Headquarters in New York. She closed the session by thanking all those who contributed to the success of this conference.
With the blessing of Vishwaguruji, this special side-event of the UN Water Conference 2023 was closed.
Summary Report PDF download: Summary_UN_2023_Water_Conference_Side_Event.pdf