HWPL Peace Tree Planting & Marker Stone Unveiling Ceremony: Mongolia’s Green Wave of Peace/HWPL

Harus Baca

KORANBOGOR.com-On June 21, HWPL held the “HWPL Peace Tree Planting & Marker Stone Unveiling Ceremony” jointly with Ulaanbaatar National Park & Garden Center to mark the start of Mongolia’s “Green Wave of Peace” tree planting project at Ulaanbaatar National Park in Mongolia.

This event was attended by about forty guests from the government, fields of education and religion, military, and NGOs including Davaadorj Davaanyam, Youth Development Policy Advisor of the Office of the President of Mongolia; Damdinsuren Rinchin, Head of Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia; Gombojav Ariunbuyan, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency; Shagdarsuren Tserendulam, Director General of the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia; and about 1,000 citizens gathered at the site.

The peace tree planting project began with a keynote speech by Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh at the 76th UN General Assembly. President Khürelsükh promised to plant one billion trees across Mongolia by 2030 to cope with climate change and prevent desertification, and since then, several cooperative organizations, including the government and related agencies, have been planting trees. While the earth’s abnormal climate and the seriousness of environmental issues continue to emerge as problems in the international community, the “One Billion Trees National Campaign” promoted by the Mongolian government as its main project is drawing attention from many people around the world.

In response, HWPL held the event with Ulaanbaatar National Park & Garden Center which signed an MOU with HWPL to support the Mongolian government’s main project, the One Billion Trees National Campaign, and to promote the spreading a culture of peace and the participation of civil society. In the main order of events, a welcoming speech, a special performance of traditional Mongolian dance by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), congratulatory address by distinguished speakers, and awarding the 100,000 Trees Certificate were held.

Davaadorj Davaanyam, Youth Development Policy Advisor of the Office of the President of Mongolia, said, “According to the experience of many countries around the world, environmental protection and restoration issues are not limited to the activities of national administrative agencies, but are successfully realized when citizens, local and regional communities, concerned parties using the natural resources, and academic institutions and circles actively participate. I congratulate the launch of the Green Wave of Peace project in Mongolia by HWPL to support the One Billion Trees National Campaign led by the Mongolian President and plant 100,000 trees within the framework of the above goals.”

Gombojav Ariunbuyan, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency, said, “Desertification is a major problem facing Mongolia today. This is why the Mongolian President started and implemented the One Billion Trees National Campaign, and the participation of the government, non-governmental organizations, and the public in the project has greatly expanded in recent years. In particular, I am very happy that HWPL, which deals with the concepts of peace and friendship, actively participates in solving problems facing Mongolia and brings many people to unite as one to take part in tree planting campaigns for the protection and love of the environment.”

Badrakh Chimed, a biology professor at Eco Asia Environmental University and honored environmental worker, said, “At a time when tree planting is underway nationwide, HWPL’s Green Wave of Peace tree planting project has attracted the attention of many people.” He gained empathy from the participants, saying, “Let’s all join in on this tree planting project and the One Billion Trees National Campaign to grow together and support the green environment.”

Currently, fifty peace trees and 3,700 flowers have been planted in Ulaanbaatar National Park with the support of civil society and the efforts of volunteers. HWPL awarded the Office of the President of Mongolia the “100,000 Trees Certificate” and promised to plant 100,000 trees with civil society in vulnerable areas throughout Mongolia by 2050. Advisor Davaadorj Davaanyam also promised to deliver the certificate to the president.

Ulaanbaatar Peace Forum: National Pride and the Great Legacy of Peace

On June 21, the ‘Ulaanbaatar Peace Forum: National Pride and the Great Legacy of Peace’ was held at the Tuushin Hotel in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The messengers of peace in Mongolia who attended the event shared the fruits of HWPL peace projects achieved in Mongolia so far and pledged future development.

The event was attended by a total of 400 people, including Oyunbaatar Tserendash, former Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia; Sh. Sukhbaatar and Darjaa Nasanjargal, two former Ministers of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Industry; and Norjmaa Togtokh and Chilkhaajav Avdai, two former Members of Parliament; and numerous government officials, veterans, soldiers, experts in the field of law, education, and religion, as well as citizens.

In celebration of the forum, congratulatory videos were also sent from Romania and Germany. Former Romanian President Emil Constantinescu said, “Your pursuit of peace is applaudable as it is challenging, and it will be as difficult as it is important. To dedicate your efforts to becoming an active messenger for peace is no simple task. What you are embarking upon will require great determination, perseverance, and a great dose of optimism. It will require you to take pride in the smallest of victories and to learn all you can from your setbacks,” delivering his words of encouragement to young people who are committed to peace.

Tuvaan Batsuri, Mongolian War Veteran, paid tribute to HWPL, which hosted the event, and thanked the veterans who survived the war like himself in his congratulatory speech.

“This peace forum, organized by HWPL, aims to make the public recognize the threat and damage of war, keep such terrible acts away, and eliminate war which is an urgent problem in the world,” said Choijamts Yadmaa, Mongolian Major General. “On behalf of the participants in Mongolia’s peacekeeping activities, we support the successful operation of this peace organization, and we hope that the proposals and goals to be pursued at this meeting will be implemented in reality,” he added.

Former Mongolian Deputy Prime Minister Oyunbaatar Tserendash who presented a speech under the theme of ‘Importance of International Cooperation for Peace Building,’ said, “HWPL’s peace activities conducted in Mongolia so far are very important, and the value and understanding of peace are increasing day by day.” And he emphasized, saying “I strongly believe that HWPL’s LP project is becoming a reality in Mongolia, and through this, people will learn peace, love peace, and finally pass on a peaceful society to future generations.”

Sainbuyan Nergui, the Great Monk of Sain Nomuun Monastery, who gave a presentation about ‘Religious alliance activities in Mongolia’ said, “Religious people’s participation for peace is very important. In God’s religion, there are three cornerstones, namely, karma, soul, and morality. Among them, the root cause of Karma has a great influence on everyone’s peace and welfare. The more good karma spreads, the better society and family can be. Anyone in any religion should pay attention to these three things. If we can do that, peace will come of its own accord.”

Baatar Battulga, the Senior Specialist of Curriculum Implementation at the General Authority for Education said, “To achieve peace, we must first understand the value of peace. HWPL’s Peace Education instills youth in their desire to protect the planet and teaches them to create a positive atmosphere in schools, classrooms, and homes. In particular, it is important to teach children ethics and humanitarian education,” reaffirming the importance of Peace Education.

Finally, the IPYG performance team performed “Beautiful Nation, Mongolia,” and participants signed their support for the “Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).” HWPL, which has been actively carrying out peace projects in Mongolia since October last year, plans to spread a culture of peace with experts in various fields in Mongolia and encourage civil society to actively participate in peace activities.

Mongolia Religious Forum: Solidarity of Religious Leaders

On June 20, the Mongolian Religious Forum, co-hosted by HWPL and Sain Nomuun Monastery, was held at the Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel in Ulaanbaatar under the theme of “Solidarity of Religious Leaders.”

This forum was attended by about 400 religious leaders, including Nergui Sainbuyan, Great Monk of Sain Nomuun Monastery; Suhkbat Shagdarsuren, Chairman of the Centre of Mongolian Shamanism; Bavuu Bayarsaikhan, Veda Culture Researcher of Krishna Mandir Hindu Temple; and B. Ochir, President of Eternal Heaven United Committee. Congratulatory letters were also given from H.H. Tep Vong, the Great Patriarch of Cambodia.

Mongolia is a country where religious freedom is guaranteed. More than 50% of the population is Buddhist, and the country houses various other religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Bahaism. One of the core goals of Mongolia’s long-term development policy, ‘Vision 2050’ includes the “attainment of shared national values” to achieve a high level of social awareness through research on the value of religion.

HWPL planned the event in collaboration with Sain Nomuun Monastery. The two goals of the event are to first promote inter-religious harmony and understanding in terms of peaceful values, and second, to improve the level of social awareness of the people and cultivating peaceful national values in its citizens.

In a welcoming speech, Great Monk Nergui Sainbuyan of Sain Nomuun Monastery said, “Mongolia has historically been a country that recognizes religious diversity and customs, harmonizes, and communicates with each other. We are pleased to hold this forum with HWPL, which inherits this proud culture and conducts religious peace activities.”

“I am very interested in a dialogue based on scriptures. Considering the basic scriptures and the original scriptures between religions, there is actually not much difference between religions,” said Bavuu Bayarsaikhan, Veda Culture Researcher of Krishna Mandir Hindu Temple, who has been attending HWPL’s World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office in Mongolia.

Sukhbat Shagdarjav, a researcher and scientist of Nomad & shaman culture, said, “Many religions coexist in Mongolia. So, people have a right to religious tolerance and reverence of their respective religions.” Batiirbek, the Chairman of the Muslim Religious Union of Mongolia, delivered his impression of the event, saying, “We need a mutual understanding between religions and action to keep it. This is a very timely event.”

Shin Sun-ah, the head of HWPL’s Global 9 Branch, said in a closing speech, “It is time to restore and re-spread Mongolian national identity based on religious respect and tolerance pursued by Genghis Khan through the religious leaders gathered here.”

After this, the HWPL Religious Peace Academy (RPA) was introduced. The RPA aims to learn about various religious scriptures around the world and promote mutual understanding between religions and peace. There were 251 religious leaders who applied for classes after empathizing with the purpose of the Religious Peace Academy.

On June 5th, the plaque unveiling ceremony for the Interfaith Office of the HWPL Global 02 branch took place at Yongmunsa Temple in Duam-dong, Gwangju Metropolitan City.

Monk Seongjong, the chief monk of Yongmunsa Temple of Hyeonjo Gyejong of Korean Buddhism, has been an active member of HWPL for a long time. He expressed his hope for a space where religious practitioners could come together without prejudice, engage in dialogue, understand each other, and resolve conflicts to achieve peace.

The event was attended by Monk Seongjong, the chief monk of Yongmunsa Temple; Monk Hyeonjong, the chief monk of Hwarimjeongsa Temple in Gwangju; Monk Hyesung, the chief monk of Suhyosa Temple in Damyang; Monk Byeokam, the chief monk of Mireuksa Temple in Jeollabuk-do; Kang Gu Yeong, HWPL Head of Global 02; and Park Jae Young, Head of the Religion Department at HWPL Headquarters.

Opening Ceremony of Gwangju Yongmunsa temple Inter-Religious Alliance Office

Monk Seongjong welcomed the continuous support and volunteering efforts of HWPL members, which revitalized the temples despite a decline in religious visits during the pandemic. He emphasized the importance of cooperation among different religions and mutual respect to achieve world peace, echoing the fundamental message of peace that “all religions are one,” as promoted by HWPL’s chairman, Man Hee Lee.

On June 5th, the plaque unveiling ceremony for the Interfaith Office of the HWPL Global 02 branch took place at Yongmunsa Temple in Duam-dong, Gwangju Metropolitan City.

Monk Seongjong, the chief monk of Yongmunsa Temple of Hyeonjo Gyejong of Korean Buddhism, has been an active member of HWPL for a long time. He expressed his hope for a space where religious practitioners could come together without prejudice, engage in dialogue, understand each other, and resolve conflicts to achieve peace.

The event was attended by Monk Seongjong, the chief monk of Yongmunsa Temple; Monk Hyeonjong, the chief monk of Hwarimjeongsa Temple in Gwangju; Monk Hyesung, the chief monk of Suhyosa Temple in Damyang; Monk Byeokam, the chief monk of Mireuksa Temple in Jeollabuk-do; Kang Gu Yeong, HWPL Head of Global 02; and Park Jae Young, Head of the Religion Department at HWPL Headquarters.

Monk Seongjong welcomed the continuous support and volunteering efforts of HWPL members, which revitalized the temples despite a decline in religious visits during the pandemic. He emphasized the importance of cooperation among different religions and mutual respect to achieve world peace, echoing the fundamental message of peace that “all religions are one,” as promoted by HWPL’s chairman, Man Hee Lee.

Kang Gu Yeong, Head of HWPL Global 02, expressed his hope saying “Today, we greet the solar term season of sowing the seed of grain. Thanks to the guidance of nature, I wish the seed of interfaith unity would spread from Yongmunsa Temple.”  and urged everyone to remember that this event was being observed by all beings in heaven and earth.

Park Jae Young, Head of the Religion Department at HWPL Headquarters, thanked Monk Seongjong for embodying the action of promoting peace, which is often spoken about, but not always put into practice. He hoped that through learning and working together, Yongmunsa Temple would become a space of love and peace.

Monk Byeokam, who attended the ceremony, was deeply moved by the establishment of the HWPL Global 02 Interfaith Office at the temple and vowed to work even harder for peace in cooperation with the global 12 branches of HWPL in the Jeollabuk-do region.

Going forward, HWPL Global 02 aims to actively operate the Interfaith Office at Yongmunsa Temple as a communication platform for interreligious harmony.

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