During the second Green Pilgrimage Network (GPN) international meeting that took place in Trondheim (Norway) on 26-28 July, ICLEI members Matale (Sri Lanka) and Mexico City joined – together with other 14 pilgrim places – the original 12 founding members of the Network. The Indian cities of Rishikesh, Varanasi and Ujjain are among the new GPN members as well.
The meeting brought together around 90 religious and secular leaders from China, Japan, India, Palestine, Israel, Mexico, Nigeria, Armenia and many European pilgrim places, to discuss their successes – and failures – on the long and difficult pathway to becoming more sustainable. These decision-makers compared examples of best practice, and leveraged their position as holy places to get more funding towards improving the environment and helping their millions of pilgrims be positive rather than negative impacts on the earth.
Emani Kumar, ICLEI South Asia’s Executive Director, presented ICLEI and its contribution to the GPN’s mission. The South Asia Secretariat will concretely support the Indian pilgrimage cities part of the the ‘Green Pilgrimage Network – Indian Chapter’ (Rishikesh and Muni Ki Reti, Ujjain,Nizamuddin Area, Ladakh, Old Goa and Nanded) by helping them develop an environmental assessment, an action plan and a guidebook on financial opportunities.