Anton Muhajir, Contributor, Denpasar | Fri, 12/05/2008 11:30 AM | The Archipelago
The Bali Collaboration for Climate Change (BCCC) is promoting the idea of World Silent Day to delegates at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), currently being held in Poznan, Poland.
Two members of the campaign team — Agung Wardana and Hira Jhamtani — left earlier in the week to join the UNFCCC’s two-week summit meeting.
World Silent Day is a community campaign designed to help tackle climate change through the use of some traditional Balinese wisdom.
The Tri Hita Karana philosophy, which originates from Bali, promotes a harmonious relationship between human beings and God, among human beings themselves and between human beings and nature.
The BCCC believe this philosophy could be the ideal basis for sustainable development. One of the practical implementations of Tri Hita Karana is Nyepi or the Hindu Day of Silence, when almost all activities in Bali cease for 24 hours — even the airport closes.
Hira estimated that Nyepi reduces the amount of CO2 emissions in Bali by about 20,000 tons, as all vehicles cease operation.
The figure is based on the number of vehicles on the resort island and their average fuel consumption.
“That’s why we think that the world should adopt this indigenous wisdom to help tackle climate change,” Hira said.
The idea of introducing World Silent Day was conceived prior to last year’s UNFCC in Bali, as part of Bali’s contribution to stopping climate change.
Several NGOs in Bali, including the Bali Organic Association (BOA), the Environment Education Center (PPLH) of Bali, Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Walhi) Bali and the Wisnu Foundation took the initiative to establish the BCCC to facilitate community participation in tackling climate justice. BCCC’s establishment was supported by religious and cultural figures, academics and other groups in Bali.
“We will observe how discussions related to climate change and policy are held and how they will affect Bali,” said Agung via e-mail.
Agung, who is also the director of Walhi Bali, underlined the importance of strategizing with the international network of climate change groups at the convention. Agung said he will join the Friends of the Earth International, while Hira will work with the Third World Network.
During the summit meeting there will be a side event held by international NGOs, Agung said. At this, he said, he and Hira will promote the World Silent Day campaign by handing out stickers, brochures, leaflets as well as postcards and asking other delegations to sign a petition.
“Honestly, we don’t get the chance to join the official meeting. So we just use the side event to promote our idea,” Agung said.
Last year during the UNFCCC in Bali, the BCCC launched the “Bhisama Bali” (Bali Declaration) for the Earth on Nyepi Day; with a call for UNFCCC delegates to agree on the Bali Roadmap.
The declaration mainly emphazises the importance of creating climate justice, demanding commitment from developed countries to reduce gas emissions and the need for change in production and consumption patterns world-wide.