Sadhguru speaks at COP14 Summit of UNCCD

“The most destructive human idea has been that all creatures on the planet have been created to serve human beings. This has been the basis of all ecological destructions,” said Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation. He was speaking at the 14th Summit of the Convention of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The COP14 Summit is underway in New Delhi from 2-13 September. Isha Foundation was recently accredited to the UNCCD.

Sadhguru, who is currently on an on-ground rally for Cauvery Calling, a movement that aims to revitalize one of peninsular India’s major rivers, completed the first leg of the rally on 8 September before arriving in New Delhi yesterday to speak at the COP14 Summit this morning. Cauvery Calling aims to reverse land degradation and desertification in the Cauvery basin through an economic plan that will enable lakhs of farmers to plant 2.4 billion trees in the river basin with attractive remunerative returns, making it a self-sustaining model.

Speaking at the plenary titled ‘A Value Based Approach’, Sadhguru said, “We may think that there are many challenges before the ecology, but actually there is only one – human population. We are nice but we are too many! It’s time we control human population, else nature will do it in a very cruel way.”

Other speakers at the plenary included Ms. Hindou Oumarou, Representative of Indigenous Peoples and a 2017 National Geographic ‘Emerging Explorer’. She said that it was time for the world to heed to the advice of indigenous people and benefit from their knowledge and wisdom as they are much more closely connected to the Earth and lead a harmonious existence with Nature.

Baaba Maal, one of Senegal’s most popular musicians also participated in the plenary session.

Youth representatives from Isha Foundation’s Rally for Rivers also attended the UNCCD Youth Forum on 6 and 7 September. The UNCCD Youth Forum brought together young people from organizations all over the world that are working to address soil health. The Forum provided a platform to leverage the convergence of ideas, knowledge and action in addressing land degradation and desertification issues globally.

The COP14 Summit will culminate into a Delhi Declaration to Combat Desertification. The previous Summit, COP13, was held in Ordos, China, in 2017 where an Ordos Declaration was issued urging countries to step up efforts to tackle desertification.

UNCCD was established in 1994 to combat desertification globally. Its Convention of 197 parties work together to improve living conditions for people in dry lands; maintain and restore land and soil productivity; and mitigate the effects of drought.