Leading voices from around the globe, including conservationist Jane Goodall, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, took the stage with Sadhguru to pitch strongly for unified action to address climate change.
Sadhguru explained that unless 50-60% of the soil on the planet is put under shade, there is no way to maintain fertile soil, rich in organic content. The alarming decline in soil quality has led to severe depletion in the nutritional value of food grown on land. “Nutritional value of food we eat has come down by 40%; trees have to come back if this has to change,” said Sadhguru.
He also spoke about making tree planting an economic model so that farmers can prosper, referring to the Cauvery Calling model which is promoting tree-based agriculture as an economic model among farmers in the Cauvery river basin in southern India.
Sadhguru also spoke about the illegal timber trade in the world. “Timber sold around the planet is largely illegal, because timber is still treated as forest produce. Timber is a lucrative item – it has to become an economic process,” said Sadhguru, adding that the only way to stop the illegal trade is to make timber an agricultural produce and allow farmers to grow, fell and sell it for economic gain.
Touching briefly upon the rural to urban migration in India and the world, he explained how planting high-value, high-yield crop on the farmland is one way to ensure the farmer stays on his land. According to statistics, hundreds of millions of people are expected to migrate to Indian cities in a decade and about 1.6 billion people will migrate worldwide. “Developing rural communities by giving them an incentive to stay on the land is one of the ways to check uncontrolled migration for which no city is prepared,” said Sadhguru.
President Duque said, “Colombia considers this a very important milestone,” and committed to his country’s contribution of 180 million trees by 2022. Mr. Benioff spoke about the phenomenal carbon sequestering potential of 1 trillion trees. “More than 200 gigatons of carbon will be sequestered,” he said. Jane Goodall presented a radical idea that if we name trees after people, we would want that tree to live.
A decade after Sadhguru last attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual summit at Davos, Sadhguru returned as one of the key speakers at the upcoming Summit this year which marks the 50th anniversary of the Summit. The WEF Summit was held between 21 and 24 January 20+20 at Davos in Switzerland where Sadhguru conducted three morning meditation sessions and a half-day Consciousness Retreat for participants. The world’s most influential leaders in politics, business, academia, and global organizations were in attendance.
The event was the official briefing of “The Champions for 1 Trillion Trees Platform,” a major new initiative led by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at the World Economic Forum Summit in Davos, on Feb 22. The goal of the initiative is to plant 1 trillion trees by 2030, adding to the already existing 3 trillion trees on the planet. The illustrious group on the stage also included Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT).
Restoring, conserving and planting 1 Trillion Trees by 2030 can deliver massive and urgently needed progress to counter climate change, increase biodiversity and help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Science confirms the carbon capture potential of trees and that there is enough land available for planting the required 1 Trillion Trees to meet the 1.5°C Climate Change Target on a least-cost pathway. This initiative requires unprecedented levels of mobilization, collaboration and empowerment at the grassroots level.
Sadhguru has launched ecological initiatives that aim to re-establish our interconnectedness with Nature so that caring for the environment becomes a natural consequence.
Project GreenHands (PGH), one of the largest grassroots ecological movements to increase green cover, has enabled over 3 million citizens to plant 38 million trees over 15 years.
Rally for Rivers (RfR), a movement to revive India’s dying rivers, became the largest ecological movement in the world after it received support from 162 million people in 30 days. The RfR policy recommendations to revitalize India’s rivers have been accepted by the Government of India as the national river revitalization policy.
Cauvery Calling, an RfR project, will enable 5.2 million farmers in the Cauvery river basin in Southern India to plant 2.42 billion trees over a 12-year period. It is designed as an economic model with a significant positive ecological impact.
Both PGH and RfR are aligned in their vision with Champions for 1 Trillion Trees Platform.