Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
History & Philosophy
Stories and reflections on the Buddhist approach to life
Updates and reports from around the world
On July 5, SGI-Sweden held a seminar titled "Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Nuclear Weapons: A Different Seminar on Environmental Problems" at Almedalen Week 2013. Almedalen Week, an annual event held in Visby on the island of Gotland, is organized by the political parties of Sweden and the Municipality of Gotland. The event brings together politicians from Sweden and around the world, journalists, NGOs and other organizations with the aim of debating social issues in an atmosphere of openness and democracy.
The SGI-organized seminar, one of over 2,200 events that together attracted some 20,000 people, aimed to raise awareness of nuclear weapons as an environmental threat and the importance of striving for their abolition and not just their nonproliferation.
In his speech at the seminar, Gösta Gahm, professor emeritus at Stockholm University's Institute of Astronomy, described to an audience of some 50 people the influence that various celestial bodies beyond our control have on life on this planet. In comparing the destructive power of meteorite downfall to atomic explosions of different sizes, Professor Gahm pointed out that the environmental devastation caused by a meteorite is considerable even without the complication of the effects of radiation that accompany the detonation of a single nuclear weapon.
SGI representatives also spoke at the seminar and described nuclear weapons not only as the most dangerous threat to the environment and human health ever created by humankind, but, paradoxically, one of the most often overlooked and easiest threats to eliminate. Abolishing nuclear weapons, they posited, only requires a political decision, unlike, for example, lowering carbon dioxide emissions, which requires the consistent daily efforts of people around the world.
On display at the seminar was a panel translated into Swedish from the exhibition "Everything You Treasure–For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons" that was jointly created by SGI and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The panel details the catastrophic outcome of a minor nuclear war as well as examples of the environmental effects of the production and testing of nuclear weapons. related article SGI-Nepal Joins Bagmati River Cleaning Program and Opens "Lotusbari" Garden As part of the Bagmati Cleaning Program to improve the environment of the Bagmati River that runs through the city of Kathmandu, SGI-Nepal members have initiated the "Lotusbari" project to create a small garden on the banks of the river.
A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World—Mission Possible
by Anna Ikeda, co-chair, International Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition
Statement on the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II and the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
SGI Joins Faith Groups in Launching Statement Condemning Nuclear Weapons
SGI-Nepal Earthquake Relief Activities
Freedom and Diversity
Education: A Transformative Potential
SGI Attends Earth Charter 15th Anniversary Forum in Costa Rica
SGI-Panama Holds Peace Festival
SGI-Spain Holds Lecture on Elimination of Violence against Women