Faith and community leaders from around the world will be speaking on ecological, urban and social development as influenced by mass pilgrimage. Our report on the massive urban sprawl that Mecca is becoming illustrates the ecological impact of the Haj, for example. Efforts like this one to make the Haj green need to be supported, and we look forward to hearing encouraging developments along those lines as a result of Jerusalem Symposium on Green Pilgrimage.
Over 200 million people go on pilgrimage each year and the numbers are rising. These pilgrims create additional stress on the water, sewage, waste disposal and food supply systems of their pilgrimage destinations and often cause some form of environmental damage.
In cities which are inundated with pilgrims, the role of the residents is often not an easy one, and they should be encouraged to be engaged in the challenges, as well as the opportunities. In some instances, the stress is seasonal, but in many cities and sites, there is a constant burden on the local infrastructure.
The sanctity of pilgrimage sites is often enhanced by the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. The influx of large numbers of pilgrims constitutes a threat both to the beauty of the ambiance, as well as to the flora and fauna that form part of each heritage landscape.
The Green Pilgrimage Network brings together representatives of major world faiths who will be working together and learning from each other how to green both the journeys and the destinations undertaken by pilgrims everywhere.
The program covers topics as diverse as freedom of movement for the physically challenged pilgrim, green mapping pilgrim routes and sites, and the always-controversial topic of women’s empowerment in the world’s religions.
There will be two days of eco-tours. Special events include a showing of solar-powered cinema inside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, a hands-on workshop of the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, and even a culinary competition where top Jerusalem chefs present their Green Pilgrim Jerusalem dishes.
Read more about the Jerusalem Symposium on Green Pilgrimage on the event’s website.
And to view the event’s jam-packed schedule, click here. Green Prophet will be there!
The symposium will interest environmental activists and professionals, faith leaders and faith-based communities. Also welcome are non-profit organizations, academics, elected officials and tourism and hospitality industry entrepreneurs.
More on faith, pilgrimage and the ecology on Green Prophet:
- Baptizing in the Jordan’s Holy Sewage
- Sewage Flows Where Pilgrims Once Trod
- SARS-Like Virus Alerts Haj Pilgrims
- Saudis Approve Haj Safety Guide