SGI Members Celebrate Earth Day in the Philippines and the US
On April 22, SGI-Philippines youth members held a forum commemorating Earth Day at the SGI-Philippines Culture Center in Manila.
The SGI Charter was introduced by student members who highlighted how the Buddhist philosophy of coexistence and respect for the sanctity of life relates to promoting environmental protection. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's 2012 peace proposal titled "Human Security and Sustainability: Sharing Reverence for the Dignity of Life" was also discussed. Participants talked in small groups about practical ways in which they could contribute to environmental solutions.
SGI-Philippines Youth Leader Jeremias Zhel Cruz spoke about how change begins with awareness of environmental issues and emphasized that one's immediate environment is the starting point for action for change.
On April 28, SGI-USA members from the "Wild Wild West" Area in California celebrated Earth Day in Garden Grove Park by cosponsoring an awareness-raising event with the City of Garden Grove on how to preserve the planet through sustainable practices and shared responsibility.
The event included a cherry-tree planting ceremony by Garden Grove Park representative Gloria Gaw and SGI-USA Vice President Greg Martin. SGI members also performed a variety of dances, and musical entertainment was provided by SGI-USA's Myoho Blues Band and the Ikeda Kings Orchestra and included taiko drumming. The SGI exhibition "Seeds of Change: The Earth Charter and Human Potential" was also on display in the park.
SGI-USA's participation in the Garden Grove Earth Day celebrations began eight years ago. Prior to this, SGI members had been cleaning parks every month as part of the city's Adopt-a-Park Program, being assigned five years ago to the largest park; Garden Grove Park. To date, local members have helped plant 16 cherry trees in the city.
[Adapted from articles in the June 1, 2012, issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA and the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of the World Tribune]