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Positive Changes in Countries Part 34 of a Multi-part Series – Altruistic Governments, Altruistic Citizens: Laos, Latvia, Lebanon

17:02

Positive Changes in Countries Part 34 of a Multi-part Series – Altruistic Governments, Altruistic Citizens: Laos, Latvia, Lebanon

Laos is home to a variety of diverse ethnic groups who are unified through the country’s prevailing Buddhist beliefs. The country’s lushly forested mountains, plateaus, plains, and the Mekong River basin host an amazing range of biodiversity. To preserve this precious life, our government has wisely designated a network of protected regions. To achieve the goal of bringing electricity to 98% of the country’s citizens by 2030, our country is employing sustainable solar energy. Moreover, our forethoughtful government is determined to develop a state-of-the-art rail network to connect with our neighboring countries. Toward this goal, the Laos-China high-speed railway linking our capital Vientiane with Kunming, China, took its inaugural journey on December 3, 2021. Latvia is a country in northeastern Europe, with a shoreline that meets the Baltic Sea. With music at the heart of our culture, the Latvian Nationwide Song and Dance Festival has been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Legislation recently passed into law that automatically grants Latvian citizenship to all newborn children. As stated by Her Excellency Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner on Human Rights for the Council of Europe, “This measure represents significant progress toward implementing the right of each child to a nationality at birth and toward fully including all children in Latvian society.” The kind Latvians have been avidly helping Ukraine war victims. My country, Lebanon, is a small Western Asian nation situated on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. To restore the nation’s sacred cedar tree, as well as precious pine, fir, and oak, Lebanon has worked in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to plant over 1.2 million tree seedlings in ten regions throughout the country. Mediated by the United States President, His Excellency Donald Trump, a meeting was agreed upon by His Excellency Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon and His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Former Prime Minister of Israel. Both sides indicated that they would continue negotiations toward a permanent positive resolution. Most joyously, the veganism movement in Lebanon is growing. What’s more, Hayek Hospital in the capital Beirut became the first in our country to serve patients 100% vegan meals.
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2022-01-17   17 vizionări
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2022-01-17

Positive Changes in Countries Part 33 of a Multi-part Series – Earnest Governments, Earnest Citizens: Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 33 of a Multi-part Series – Earnest Governments, Earnest Citizens: Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan

The Republic of Kosovo is a Southeastern European country situated in the center of the Balkan Peninsula. Kosovo is a laureate of the Shining World Leadership Award for Peace. On September 4, 2020,Kosovo’s former Prime Minister,His Excellency Avdullah Hoti, Serbia’s President, His Excellency Aleksandar Vučić, and the 45th US President, His Excellency Donald Trump, signed an agreement to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Kosovo’s Law on Gender Equality, which mandates equal opportunity for both men and women, has helped ensure the continuous improvement of Kosovar women’s social and professional status over the past decade. The Middle Eastern country of Kuwait is the laureate of a Shining World Leadership Award for her generous aid to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon in 2007. Bordering Iraq to the north and Saudi Arabia to the South, Kuwait is one of the world’s smallest countries in land area. The wise Kuwaiti government adopted digital transformation as a key strategy in its New Kuwait 2035 National Development Plan launched in 2016. In August 2020, Kuwait passed a new law to ensure the safety of women. In addition, shelters and hotlines have been established to provide accommodation, counseling, and legal assistance to women in need. Today, in HappyCow.net, there are 41 listings of vegan/vegetarian option restaurants in Kuwait, with 19 in Kuwait City, the capital. Kyrgyzstan, also known as the Kyrgyz Republic, is a laureate of the Shining World Leadership Award for Wise and Good Governance and the Shining World Leadership Award for Earth Preservation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the wise government of Kyrgyzstan acted promptly to provide remote learning. Thus, the education interruption caused by school closures was largely minimized. With the Kyrgyz government’s awareness of its magnificent mountain glaciers being reduced by climate change, efforts are being made to move entirely away from coal-based fuel. Thus, in addition to solar energy, the Kyrgyz government is launching several hydropower projects as well. In addition, trees in the capital city Bishkek are being issued passports. The unique identifiers are intended to maximize the preservation of these life-giving beings as well as encourage more planting.
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2021-12-13   347 vizionări
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2021-12-13

Positive Changes in Countries Part 32 of a Multi-part Series – Heroic Governments, Heroic Citizens: Kenya, Kiribati, Korea

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 32 of a Multi-part Series – Heroic Governments, Heroic Citizens: Kenya, Kiribati, Korea

My East African country of Kenya is a laureate of the Shining World Leadership for Peace Award. To combat global climate change and protect biodiversity, in May 2018, our Kenyan government announced an ambitious reforestation initiative. Furthermore, our wise Kenyan government leads in the people of animal kingdom protection. Kenya banned elephant-people hunting and ivory trading in 1973 and imposes heavy criminal and financial penalties for poaching. What’s more, Kenya’s growing awareness of veganism is worth cheering for! Furthermore, the Vegan Society of Kenya is campaigning for legislation to guarantee plant-based options on the menus of all public sectors, including schools, universities, hospitals, and prisons. Located in the central Pacific Ocean, my Kiribati is a beautiful island country whose territories span a vast ocean area equivalent to the size of the United States. Kiribati takes a strong stance in protecting marine-beings. During the 2014 U.S. Our Ocean conference, the former President of Kiribati, His Excellency Anote Tong, announced a complete ban on commercial fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Our wise Kiribati government has been promoting mangrove conservation and re-forestation to prevent coastline erosion and foster flourishing coastal ecosystems. In addition, fresh water is a very scarce resource in our island nation. In a grant project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and the World Bank, a climate-resilient water supply system is being built.Bordering China and Russia, and neighboring Japan in the Pacific, my country, the Korean Peninsula, consists of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. On April 27th, 2018, a historical peace agreement, the “Panmunjom Declaration,” was signed by Dear Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and His Excellency Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea. Following this peace agreement, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nearly tripled its reception of international tourists. The plant-based diet revolution is speeding up in the Republic of Korea. According to the Korea Vegetarian Union (KVU), the number of vegans in Korea has tripled over the past decade. There are over two million vegans or vegetarians in the Republic of Korea.
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2021-11-22   288 vizionări
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2021-11-22

Positive Changes in Countries Part 31 of a Multi-part Series – Respectful Governments, Respectful Citizens: Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 31 of a Multi-part Series – Respectful Governments, Respectful Citizens: Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan

My country, Japan, is the laureate of Shining World Leadership Awards for Compassion, Generosity, and Animal Protection. We have also had the honor of being visited by Supreme Master Ching Hai. On May 7, 2000, during a lecture given in Tokyo, Master spoke of Japan’s success as it relates to the inner focus of her people. “Everything even in this physical world, if we want to be successful in anything, we need concentration. And I think the Japanese people know that best.” Japan is also pursuing green goals. In the nation’s 2021 white paper on the environment, our wise government proposed plant-based meat alternatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. My country, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is located in the Northern Arabian Peninsula. Jordan is replete with cultural and spiritual treasures. His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein received the 2019 Lamp of Peace Award, for his continuous efforts to promote human rights, interfaith dialog, peace and harmony in the Middle East and the world. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, a recipient of the Shining World Leadership Award for Compassion, has initiated many campaigns to protect the rights of women, children, and vulnerable refugees. Referred to by many as an oasis of peace and stability, Jordan has shown extraordinary hospitality toward refugees. Finally, to fight desertification and climate change and protect biodiversity, the Jordanian government launched a reforestation program in partnership with Saudi Arabia. Kazakhstan has committed to developing renewable energy. With policy reform and financial support from the government, Kazakhstan began implementing its goals in 2020 for greener energy. The government of Kazakhstan has also implemented system-wide reforms to make the launch and operation of businesses much easier. Kazakhstan has also shown great leadership in fostering understanding among different faiths. The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, in the capital Nur-Sultan, was constructed primarily as the convening place for the Congress of World and Traditional Religions. In addition, in 2018, the wise government of Kazakhstan launched the Digital Kazakhstan Program to accelerate economic development and improve citizens’ quality of life.
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2021-10-25   686 vizionări
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2021-10-25

Positive Changes in Countries Part 30 of a Multi-part Series – Innovative Governments, Innovative Citizens: Israel, Italy, Jamaica

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 30 of a Multi-part Series – Innovative Governments, Innovative Citizens: Israel, Italy, Jamaica

Blessed Israel has been honored with several Shining World Awards, including the Shining World Leadership Awards for Humanitarianism and Caring, the Shining World Caring Leadership Award and the Shining World Leadership Award for Peace. Israel has also been striving for advancements in peaceful relations. Thanks to the mediation of former US President, His Excellency Donald Trump, Israel established full diplomatic relations in 2020 with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. Furthermore, efforts are being made in several areas toward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Veganism and vegetarianism have continued to rise, with Israel’s capital, Tel Aviv, now being listed as one of the top vegan-friendly cities in the world. In June 2021, Israel also banned the sale of fur!A Shining World Leadership Award for Public Health Protection recipient, Italy’s fascinating boot-shaped nation extends into the Mediterranean Sea. As a part of a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Italy’s renewable energy development is on the rise. Additionally, in 2019, Italy became the first country to require climate change education in all schools. As a trendsetter in world fashion design, today, Italy is leading the world towards cruelty-free vegan fashion. Better yet, plant-based eating is growing rapidly in Italy. What’s more, the northern Italian city of Turin is striving to become fully vegan.An island country in the Caribbean Sea next to Cuba and Haiti, Jamaica is famous for our verdant rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, lagoons, caves, and beautiful reef-lined beaches. To protect citizens’ health, the Jamaican government has sponsored a plant-based eating campaign. Its slogans include, “Say Yes to Fresh” and “Eat What we Grow, Grow What we Eat.” Last but certainly not least, a majority of Rastafarians and Seventh-Day Adventists, who account for around 13% of our total population, are vegan. The number of vegans and vegetarians, as well as plant-based restaurants, are sprouting up everywhere in Jamaica!
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2021-10-06   652 vizionări
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2021-10-06

Positive Changes in Countries Part 29 of a Multi-part Series – Devoted Governments, Devoted Citizens: Iran, Iraq, Ireland

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 29 of a Multi-part Series – Devoted Governments, Devoted Citizens: Iran, Iraq, Ireland

My country, Iran, is the second largest in the Middle East. Iran is the recipient of two Shining World Leadership Awards for Compassion for her noble lifesaving acts toward our animal co-inhabitants. The honorable government of Iran is also a four-time recipient of the Shining World Leadership Award for Good Governance. A continued priority for Iran’s leaders is the protection of women’s rights. I am happy to share that today, the peaceful and green vegan way of life is steadily blooming in Iran. Dedicated vegan organizations such as Hormat-e-Hayat, VeganKind, Pure Human, and Clean Earth, have been actively working to increase public knowledge regarding all aspects of the vegan lifestyle.Fascinating Iraq is a Western Asian country next to the Persian Gulf. Since the end of civil conflict in December 2017, with Allah’s blessings, Iraq has experienced expanding peace. What’s more, Iraq is seeing an encouraging rise of conscious plant-based living in recent years. Zhiar Ali and Zanko Bakhshi, two young passionate vegans of Iraq, founded Kurdistan Vegans in 2018. This non-profit vegan organization is dedicated to animal rights, environmentalism, and a healthy lifestyle.Friendly Ireland is a Western European country with a population of five million. Renowned for our magical folklore and legends, Ireland is the proud home of four Nobel Prize laureates for Literature in the 20th century alone. Animal welfare was a top priority of its 2019 legislation, the Irish government approved the Prohibition of Fur Farming Bill with All fur farming banned by the end of 2021. Today, plant-based eating is growing exponentially in Ireland. Based on data from TripAdvisor for vegan-friendly restaurants, Ireland’s capital Dublin was 2019’s most vegan-friendly city in the world. Lastly, as the pioneering country that introduced a smoking ban in all public places in 2004, Ireland further banned menthol cigarettes and rolling tobacco effective May 20, 2020.
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2021-08-30   399 vizionări
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2021-08-30

Positive Changes in Countries Part 28 of a Multi-part Series – Incredible Governments, Incredible Citizens: Iceland, India, Indonesia

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 28 of a Multi-part Series – Incredible Governments, Incredible Citizens: Iceland, India, Indonesia

Iceland is a Nordic island country famous for its breathtaking natural landscapes of mountains, glaciers, and healing hot springs. Despite its small population of 342,000, Iceland is a highly developed country. Today, 100% of Iceland’s electricity is renewable, with hydro- and geothermal electricity contributing 75% and 25%, respectively. Geothermal energy also provides 87% of the nation’s hot water and space heating. In 2018, Iceland was ranked by culinary website Chef’s Pencil as the most vegan-friendly country in the world. There is even a Vegan Iceland phone application, and one Icelandic vegan Facebook group has more than 22,000 members! Located in South Asia, India has a rich and glorious spiritual history, with civilizations that date back to ancient times. India is the home of many great enlightened Masters, including Lord Krishna, Guru Nanak, Shakyamuni Buddha, Lord Mahavira, Baba Sawan Singh, and more. With a long history of successful vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, it is estimated that 20-40% of Indian people are lacto-vegetarians. In fact, the city of Palitana in Gujarat, India, has completely banned animal slaughtering as well as the selling and consuming of eggs and meat. Palitana has thus become the world’s very first all-vegetarian city. With 270 million people who call Indonesia their home, this island country is, amazingly, the fourth most populous in the world! With over 1300 ethnic groups and 700 local languages, Indonesia honors its multi-cultural citizens. The nation’s tropical climate and island geography support greatly diverse ecosystems. Many are now protected through Indonesia’s creation of over 50 national parks in the last 30 years. Nine of these parks also safeguard marine life, while six have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Indonesian cuisine is vegan-friendly by nature. The Indonesian island of Bali is often listed among the most vegan-friendly destination in the world.
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2021-07-26   446 vizionări
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2021-07-26

Positive Changes in Countries Part 27 – Harmonious Governments, Harmonious Citizens: Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 27 – Harmonious Governments, Harmonious Citizens: Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary

Reserve on land, Honduras is a world-renowned biodiversity hotspot. Since 2018, at least 60% of our total national electricity is now derived from renewable sources. And in 2019, Honduras was part of an eight-country pledge to preserve the Five Great Forests of Mesoamerica, one of which is the Moskitia. Hong Kong, has had the honor of being visited by our Beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai. “Hong Kong is the most blessed – it has everything. All the best and the most unusual things come to Hong Kong. This means that the Hong Kong people are especially blessed by God.” The new law imposes stronger penalties for ivory smugglers, with the maximum prison time increased from two to 10 years, and fines doubled to $1.3 million. The plant-based diet is also rising quickly in Hong Kong. The American companies Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and JUST, chose Hong Kong for the launch of their vegan burger and vegan egg products. In 2005, during a meditation retreat, Master shared Her insights about the inner strength of the Hungarian people. “Nobody makes goulash as good as the Hungarians. They used to be nomads. Survival. They are very strong, united people.” Today, Hungary has 39 wind farms in operation, along with an expansion of installed solar power capacity from 2 MW in 2010 to 2 GW in 2020. With 41% of Hungarian rail lines already converted to electric, delivery of another 50 battery-electric trains is planned by 2029. In November 2020, Hungary banned fur farming of minks, foxes, polecats, ferrets and coypu, after a number of mink farms in the US and Europe tested positive for COVID-19. In Budapest alone, over 50 vegan or vegetarian eateries are listed in HappyCow.com, offering delicious veggie dishes and plant-based Hungarian classics.
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2021-06-28   505 vizionări
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2021-06-28

Positive Changes in Countries, Part 26 – Divine Governments, Divine Citizens: Guyana, Haiti, the Holy See

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Positive Changes in Countries, Part 26 – Divine Governments, Divine Citizens: Guyana, Haiti, the Holy See

My South American country, Guyana, means “Land of Many Waters.” Along with four large rivers that run through the land, there is the spectacular Kaieteur Falls, the world’s largest single-drop waterfall by volume. We also show our care for these God-given treasures through sustainable forest management and green development strategies that protect biodiversity and rainforests. Another preservation effort has come through eco-tourism, where visitors to Guyana are able to enjoy the nation’s unique ecosystems without adversely impacting the environment. What’s more, the vegan trend is on an exciting rise in Guyana. Besides the growing number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, the nation’s newspaper, Guyana Times, included a vegan recommendation for the New Year 2021, saying, “Opt for more vegetarian and vegan meals.” Vegan organizations are springing up as well, such as The Guyanese Vegan and The Vegan Outlet in the capital city Georgetown.The government of Haiti has been striving to tackle various socio-economic challenges. In recent years, however, the World Bank along with other international organizations has funded an education project that offers free tuition for students and salaries for teachers. In addition, the World Food Program has been offering hot lunches to some 300,000 children daily and is working closely with the Haitian government to develop a nation-owned school lunch program. Healthcare, which has been another major national challenge in Haiti, is seeing the light of improvements as well. In keeping with National Health Policy guidelines and thanks to the full support of United Nations agencies, all aspects of healthcare - basic, preventive, and emergency response - have improved.Located within Vatican City State, the Holy See is a monarchy defined as a sovereign state and the top spiritual governing body of the Roman Catholic Church. Today, the Holy See strives to help the poor, refugees, children in conflicting regions and natural disaster victims, etc., regardless of their faith or ethnic origin. The Holy See also endeavors to promote inter-faith dialog and rebuild relationships among different religions for peace. In 2018, His Holiness Pope Francis made a historic change to the teachings of the Catholic Church on the death penalty, ruling that punishment by death is never acceptable. Finally, rejecting the old interpretation that humans have an “absolute domination over other creatures,” without reservation, the Holy See advocates animal protection and compassion towards all God’s creations.
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2021-04-26   623 vizionări
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2021-04-26

Positive Changes in Countries Part 25 – Vibrant Governments, Vibrant Citizens: Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 25 – Vibrant Governments, Vibrant Citizens: Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau

Guatemala is best known for her magnificent mountainous landscape, rich Mayan heritage, and the colorful city Antigua. Thankfully, the people of Guatemala have made considerable strides in conserving our beautiful rainforests. Moreover, health care is becoming more accessible in Guatemala! What’s more, the Guatemalan government has taken major steps to improve animal welfare. A comprehensive law passed by Guatemala’s Congress in 2017 bans animal testing for cosmetics, animals in circuses, and dog fighting. My country, officially known as the Republic of Guinea, is in West Africa, bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 13.1 million, Guinea’s culture is a harmonious composite of many dynamic ethnic groups. Furthermore, the health system is seeing improvements, thanks to government initiatives and the support of organizations such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as well as the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Meanwhile, when human and agricultural expansion challenged Guinea’s forest reserves, the government of Guinea began working with USAID to develop a strategy. A de-centralized and co-forest management approach was adopted, which engaged local communities adjacent to the forests. The Guinean government has also launched renewable energy efforts in the hydropower sector.Located on the Atlantic coast of West Africa, Guinea-Bissau is a small tropical jewel, well-known for extensive national parks and flourishing wildlife on the land and in the sea, including the world-renowned Bijagós Archipelago Biosphere Reserve. The country is also working to improve citizens’ lives by pursuing renewable energy sources such as a solar power plant with a capacity of between 20 and 30 MW, which is currently under construction. This project will bring electricity to some 500,000 homes, while more than doubling the nation’s power generation capacity. In addition, the telecommunications sector has been growing at an impressive rate. The government announced plans to introduce a nationwide cellular network. What’s more, awareness of wildlife conservation is on the rise in Guinea-Bissau.
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2021-03-27   531 vizionări
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2021-03-27

Positive Changes in Countries Part 24 - Responsible Governments, Responsible Citizens: Ghana, Greece, Grenada

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 24 - Responsible Governments, Responsible Citizens: Ghana, Greece, Grenada

The people of Ghana wish you spiritual upliftment. Our country is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and we are neighbored by Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Togo. To improve the life quality of its citizens, the Ghanaian government had been implementing programs like LEAP, or Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty," which provides both cash payments for those in need as well as free healthcare. This has led to increased child nutrition, better school attendance, and improved elderly care, especially in underserved regions. Since Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke, the veggie trend is rising in Ghana. A program implemented by His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo, “Planting for Food and Jobs,” is intended to provide healthy plant-based food as well as agricultural jobs. Greece, officially known as the Hellenic Republic, is a beautiful European country known for its long coastline and hundreds of offshore islands. In an effort to benefit companion animals, the Greek Parliament unanimously passed a law that provides greater protection for their well-being. The mistreatment of animals is now regarded as a criminal offense, with penalties that include high fines and even imprisonment. Many Greek people are also helping reduce global warming through the Greek Orthodox practice of refraining from most animal products 200 days of the year. Koukoumi Hotel Mykonos has received top-rated reviews as the first-ever fully vegan hotel in Greece. The hotel’s slogan reads, “We can enjoy life without harming animals, the environment, or ourselves.” Grenada is a small island country that can be found at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain in the Caribbean Sea. The forward-thinking Grenadian government has also prioritized education offering many opportunities to its citizens. The islands’ youth literacy rate has risen to 99.2% as a result. Grenada is also home to a top-rated medical school at St. George's University that has been graduating an increasing number of doctors and veterinarians. Recognizing the urgency of addressing climate change as an island nation, the Grenadian government has integrated a low carbon development strategy into its national energy policy.
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2021-02-26   532 vizionări
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2021-02-26

Positive Changes in Countries Part 23 - Genuine Governments, Genuine Citizens: The Gambia, Georgia, Germany

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 23 - Genuine Governments, Genuine Citizens: The Gambia, Georgia, Germany

Africa’s smallest country, The Gambia, opens onto the Atlantic coast on the west and borders Senegal in all three other directions. On May 28, 2010, The Gambia took a giant step toward gender equality when His Excellency President Yahya Jammeh signed the Women’s Act. The Gambian government has also been working to protect citizens through a National Adaptation Plan to build resilience to climate change. With support from the United Nations Green Climate Fund, a large-scale project has been launched to plant trees and shrubs over a 10,000-hectare area. What’s more, the compassionate vegan lifestyle is flocking like doves of peace to The Gambia.Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, intriguing Georgia has been enriched by diverse cultural and social influences for thousands of years. The Georgian government has been striving to improve citizens’ lives through connections with neighboring countries and organizations like the European Union. As part of an agreement with the European Union, Georgia joined the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. Moreover, Georgia has made considerable progress in environmental protection. Since April 2019, the production, use and import of polyethylene bags has been prohibited. Also, in collaboration with the European Union, three new environmental protection projects have launched. As a Shining World Leadership Award for Compassion laureate and Shining World Caring Leadership Award laureate, Germany is one of the most developed countries in the world. Germany is also an exemplary leader in addressing global warming. The Energiewende, launched in 2010, seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% and to increase renewable energy to 60% by 2050 compared to 1990. Germany also plans to shut down all of its 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038. With a program to eliminate all nuclear power as well, the country is instead implementing wind, sun, and hydro-technology. What’s more, Germany has been an uplifting example of mercy in its treatment of our benevolent animal friends. With legislation already in place that awards animals the same rights as those given to humans, Germany in 2017 went on to ban fur farming. Additionally, the nation’s Federal Ministry for the Environment no longer allows meat or fish to be served at official government events. Only seasonal, regional and organic vegetarian ingredients are used.
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2021-01-25   545 vizionări
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2021-01-25

Positive Changes in Countries Part 22 - Faithful Governments, Faithful Citizens: Taiwan (Formosa), France, Gabon

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 22 - Faithful Governments, Faithful Citizens: Taiwan (Formosa), France, Gabon

Taiwan (Formosa) is a recipient of the Shining World Leadership Award for Compassion. Located in the ocean waters neighboring mainland China, Japan, and the Philippines, this island nation was originally called "Ilha Formosa" by Portuguese explorers, which means "Beautiful Island." The Taiwanese (Formosan) people are known for their inventiveness and creativity, combining science with colorful design. The nation’s pivot toward technological innovation is due in part to government support and non-profit organizations such as the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). With a concern for the well-being of society, ITRI has supported hundreds of small technology businesses in their development toward success. Taiwan (Formosa) has also become one of the world’s top glass recyclers and is home to Asia’s first electronic-waste recycling facility. Taiwan (Formosa) has also seen a growing interest in veganism, with Taipei being declared Asia’s top destination for vegans. The number of vegetarians in Taiwan (Formosa) is about 2.5 million, or about 13.8% of the total population, ranking second highest globally next to India. During a video conference at the New Land Ashram on October 29, 2019, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke about the wonders here. The country of France is known for its world-renowned art, majestic architecture, enchanting pastoral villages, and spectacular Mediterranean beaches. French culture is synonymous with beauty, fashion, romance, creativity, and fine arts. France is at the forefront of implementing goals such as replacing coal plants with renewable energy sources and reducing nuclear power by at least 50%. Preserving wildlife is another top priority for France, which was the first country in Europe to ban ivory imports. The nation has also enacted policies to restore populations of endangered animals. Bordering the ocean on its western coast in central Africa, Gabon is a country endowed with natural resources and forests. Gabon is proactively seeking to transform its prosperous oil-based economy into a more sustainable one. Through the development of renewable energies, along with rainforest preservation, Gabon seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 50% by 2025, compared to 2005 levels. Wishing to benefit rural populations as well as ecosystems, the Gabonese government has announced plans to increase its hydropower electricity supplies. A previous dam construction was canceled when the government learned that going forward could harm the environment. Gabon also plans to build eight solar power plants in three provinces of the country.
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2020-12-28   582 vizionări
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2020-12-28

Positive Changes in Countries Part 21 - Peaceful Governments, Peaceful Citizens: Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland

17:30

Positive Changes in Countries Part 21 - Peaceful Governments, Peaceful Citizens: Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland

Located in a region known as the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia existed as a civilization millions of years ago, based on archaeological finds. Ethiopia achieved a wonderful stabilizing change when His Excellency, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed forged a peace accord with neighboring country Eritrea in 2018. The following year, His Excellency’s efforts were recognized as he became not only a Nobel Peace Prize laureate but also a Shining World Leadership Award for Peace laureate. The government of Ethiopia was also awarded a Shining World Leadership Award for Earth Protection for launching the first waste-to-energy plant in Africa. One organization that has also been working to improve the lives of both Ethiopian people and animals is the International Fund for Africa (IFA). Cofounded by Ethiopian Seble Nebiyeloul and Dr. Anteneh Roba of the USA, this organization offers nutritious plant-based solutions for communities in need. Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Gratefully present Dr. Anteneh Roba and Seble Nebiyeloul, the Shining World Compassion Award, with a humble, loving gift of US$10,000 towards your noble organization, the International Fund for Africa.” The Republic of Fiji is a beautiful archipelago country of over 300 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. In 2014, the Fijian government introduced a program giving free access to elementary and secondary education for all. Initiatives were also launched to help prepare students for professions that support the island nation’s sustainable economic growth. In addition, female students have been encouraged to enroll in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes for their equal opportunity in pursuing 21st century careers. Finland can be found in Northern Europe, next to the Baltic Sea. Thanks to the government’s support of environmental conservation, Finland ranks highly on the international list of clean, green countries. With government efforts toward sustainable forestry, over 70% of Finland’s land area is now tree covered. To further expand renewable energy development such as wind power, the Finnish Parliament has approved the phasing out of coal-fired power by the year 2029.
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2020-11-23   706 vizionări
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2020-11-23

Positive Changes in Countries Part 20 - Committed Governments, Committed Citizens: Eritrea, Estonia, Eswatini

15:08

Positive Changes in Countries Part 20 - Committed Governments, Committed Citizens: Eritrea, Estonia, Eswatini

Historically, Eritrea is one of the earliest countries to adopt Christianity and is also home to the world’s first African mosque, the Mosque of the Companions, in Massawa. On September 17, 2018, Eritrea and Ethiopia officials agreed to end decades of previous discord when they signed a peace accord. More recently, the two countries re-opened free travel between their borders. The development has focused on strengthening relations in trade and culture as well as establishing joint economic zones. The health of the Eritrean people has also improved, especially for children. Thanks to government initiatives, and the commitment of citizens, an 80% reduction in infant mortality has been achieved along with a 99% success rate in child vaccinations. Furthermore, polio and measles have been eradicated. Estonia is situated in northern Europe, with more than 2,000 offshore islands in addition to its large mainland. As the first country in the world to do so, Estonia has digitalized its economic structure with the e-Estonia initiative, utilizing Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Through harnessing wind, biomass and hydro power, Estonia has reduced its dependence on oil shale as a main source of electricity. Many Estonian technology companies have signed a Green Pledge to make their operations completely sustainable by 2030. Veganism has also been on the rise in Estonia. The country has experienced ‘a vegan boom’ over the past few years, with an increase in vegan-related Facebook groups as well as vegan cafes and restaurants appearing throughout Tallinn. Eswatini is a small country with a big heart for all its wildlife. The beautiful landscapes and wilderness of the kingdom are home to thousands of species of fauna and flora. Eswatini is well known for its strict laws to conserve the rhinoceros and other animal species. The Game Act provides comprehensive protection for wildlife within all parks and reserves. The government has implemented a National Agriculture Investment Plan (SNAIP) 2015-2025, whose goal is to increase agricultural productivity, reduce rural poverty and to secure a national food supply reserve.
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2020-10-26   468 vizionări
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2020-10-26

Positive Changes in Countries Part 19 - Resourceful Governments, Resourceful Citizens: Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea

18:18

Positive Changes in Countries Part 19 - Resourceful Governments, Resourceful Citizens: Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea

Located at the cross paths between North Africa, Southwestern Asia and Europe, my country, Egypt, is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with over 5000 years of history. Its iconic monuments, the Giza Necropolis, the Great Sphinx, as well as the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings. In other news, did you know that ninety-six percent of Egypt’s land is covered by deserts? Even so, in December 2018, Egypt launched the world’s largest greenhouse project to build 7,100 greenhouses over 34,000 acres of land. In addition to the creation of over 75,000 new jobs, the greenhouses are expected to grow approximately 1.5 million metric tons of vegetables annually, which quadruples its current agricultural production. Meanwhile, the water usage is also reduced by about 80 percent compared to traditional farming. Thank you, the government of Egypt, for actively adopting the most sustainable organic-like farming for the health of your people and our beloved Mother Earth. Last but surely not the least, while veganism was rarely known in Egypt just a decade ago, today, our vegan population is growing ever rapidly. The Republic of El Salvador, which means republic of “The Savior” or “Lord Jesus Christ.” Bordered by Honduras to the northeast and Guatemala to the northwest, and with the Pacific Ocean on the south, El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. In 1992, peace accords were successfully signed which ended 12 years of civil unrest, the agreements initiated visible change for the country. Since the early 1990s, the government started economic reforms, giving way to a steadily growing economy. The per capita income reached approximately US$8000 in 2017. Blessed with lush forests and spectacular animals, Equatorial Guinea is a Central African country close to the Equator and the Gulf of Guinea. Home to approximately 1.4 million people, Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest African countries. While rapidly developing, Equatorial Guinea strives to conserve the natural environment and help curb global warming, as promised in 2014 by His Excellency Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea and Shining World Leadership Award for Compassion Recipient.
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2020-09-28   620 vizionări
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2020-09-28

Positive Changes in Countries Part 18 – Remarkable Governments, Remarkable Citizens: Dominica, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 18 – Remarkable Governments, Remarkable Citizens: Dominica, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador

The Commonwealth of Dominica, a small island country rich in natural beauty, is part of a group called the Lesser Antilles, situated in the Caribbean Sea. Dominica’s treasures include Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which was recognized by UNESCO in 1997 as a World Heritage Site. Protected areas such as these are home to a variety of plants and animals found only in Dominica, like our national bird, the Imperial Amazon, as well as the Red-necked Parrot and the Blue-headed Hummingbird. Moreover, following a resolution that banned single-use plastic and styrofoam in 2019, the Dominican government distributed cloth shopping bags to households across the nation in February 2020 as encouragement for all citizens to go plastic-free. The long, 1,300-kilometer coastline of the Dominican Republic is home to vast constellations of coral reefs and unique marine wildlife. Some of these are unique reef-building species that are found only in the Caribbean region. In 2018, the Southeast Marine Sanctuary was established as a new marine protection area covering 786,300 hectares of coral reef environment. The capital city of Santo Domingo is also home to a flourishing vegan scene. Plant-based dining is on the rise in this buzzing three-million people metropolis. Healthy-living enthusiasts, animal lovers and tourists alike can enjoy the city’s growing selection of delicious vegan offerings. The Republic of Ecuador, a small country located on the northwestern coast of South America, awes the world with her diverse landscape and colorful flora and fauna. Home to five UNESCO World Heritage sites that include the vast Sangay National Park as well as the unique Galápagos Islands, Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Toward the goal of environmental balance, Ecuador has supported the adoption of sustainable farming practices as well as efforts to protect water, land and forests. Ecuador has also joined a collective of Latin American nations that are striving for 70% renewable energy usage by 2030. A vegan trend is also on the rise in Ecuador. There are now over 100 vegan and vegetarian restaurants featured in cities throughout the country.
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2020-08-24   650 vizionări
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2020-08-24

Positive Changes in Countries Part 17 - Generous Governments, Generous Citizens: Czech Republic, Denmark and Djibouti

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Positive Changes in Countries Part 17 - Generous Governments, Generous Citizens: Czech Republic, Denmark and Djibouti

Our three generous countries: the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Djibouti.Nestled in the very heart of Europe, the Czech Republic, or Czechia, was once an ancient kingdom, with magnificent towers, cathedrals and castles that still adorn the land today. During Her 1999 European Lecture tour, Supreme ‘Master Ching Hai’ was invited to the nation’s beautiful capital city of Prague, where She spoke about the elevating qualities of both the country and its citizens. “I know many Czech people in Germany, in Munich. They're so friendly and so generous. I know one person in particular, he owns a Chinese restaurant - Czechoslovak owns a Chinese restaurant. He loved me so much. Every time after a meal, he always played the guitar and sung all the beautiful traditional Czechoslovak songs for me. He was the owner of the restaurant and he was kind of rich, but he looks very, very humble and his manner is very, very modest.” With a high national standard of living, free health care for her citizens, and generous benefits in areas like unemployment and retirement, Denmark’s economic and social success is like the reality version of a fairy tale. Not only was Denmark ranked Number Two in the 2019 ‘World Happiness Report,’ the nation continues striving in all areas, including its efforts to become one of the most climate-friendly countries on Earth. We rank third in the world for environmental policies as per ‘Sustainable Governance Indicators’ (SGI) international survey of governance. A full 23% of energy consumption is from renewable sources, with increased water conservation and reduced CO2 emissions compared to the mid-1990s. Lastly, but importantly, it is encouraging to see that the vegan movement in Denmark is quickly growing. Although a small and young country in East Africa, Djibouti’s coastal border faces the Bab al-Mandab Strait, one of the world’s busiest trade routes. This multi-ethnic country is also rich in wildlife, culture, and breathtaking scenery such as her two large saltwater lakes, Lake Assal and Lake Abbe. Djibouti is fortunate to be one of the most politically stable countries in Africa. This small nation has maintained good relations with her surrounding neighbors of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, through railway trading and sharing services from her seaside ports.
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2020-07-27   604 vizionări
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2020-07-27

Positive Changes in Countries Part 16 - Courageous Countries, Courageous Citizens: Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus

16:56

Positive Changes in Countries Part 16 - Courageous Countries, Courageous Citizens: Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus

Let’s talk about some positive news and share stories about our courageous countries. As a country that began turning to organic farming methods nearly 30 years ago, Cuba has become a leader in sustainable agriculture. Along with a decrease in the use of pesticides is a significant increase in produce production. To address the effects of climate change on this vulnerable Caribbean island, our farsighted Cuban government has outlined a comprehensive strategy called “Life Task” (Tarea Vida). Measures include crop diversification, reducing construction and agriculture in low-lying coastal areas, restoring protective eco-systems, and reforestation, as vital steps to protect both people and food production. In addition, Cuba has committed to strengthening sustainable energy development, with plans to increase renewable energies to 24%, thus eliminating six million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Finally, the Cuban government has developed an outstanding healthcare system that offers comprehensive preventive and primary care to the entire population. Curaçao is a small beautiful island in the southernmost tip of the Caribbean Sea. Despite being a small island, Curaçao has one of the busiest seaports in the world in terms of total cargo handled. In addition to its ocean-related business activities, Curaçao has also been making efforts to preserve vulnerable elements of the marine environment such as coral reefs. In recent years, the government has also endeavored to develop tourism in Curaçao. With the help of the Curaçao Hotel & Tourism Association (CHATA), hotels and restaurants in Curaçao have been working to expand their vegan offerings. In the capital city of Willemstad, restaurants featuring Japanese, Asian, Italian, Dutch and Caribbean cuisine also offer many vegan options. In an effort to protect both inhabitants and the environment, His Excellency Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, announced a government climate initiative on June 5, 2018. The plan includes a €30 million (US$35 million) climate-change research center to be housed in the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia, the nation’s leading multidisciplinary research institution. Cyprus is also expanding in a vegan-friendly direction. Many of the country’s traditional dishes center around the tasty chickpea, and Cyprus is now up to 94 restaurants that are either vegan or vegan-friendly.
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2020-06-29   554 vizionări
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2020-06-29

Positive Changes in Countries Part 15 - Honorable Governments, Honorable Citizens: Costa Rica, the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, and Croatia

17:55

Positive Changes in Countries Part 15 - Honorable Governments, Honorable Citizens: Costa Rica, the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, and Croatia

Costa Ricans are friendly, easygoing and happy people. Costa Rica has opened its borders with loving arms to neighboring refugees in need. In addition, many far-sighted environmental policies have been put in place, coupled with expanded agriculture and the modernization of the nation. It has long been recognized as the greenest and happiest country in the world. Animal welfare in Costa Rica has also seen a great leap! The benevolent law symbolizes the loving kindness of Costa Ricans toward animals. One of the essential improvements undertaken by Côte d'Ivoire was its Emergency Infrastructure Renewal Project. Launched in 2012, this development has brought water and electricity to many homes. There have been many other positive changes in Côte d'Ivoirer in recent years, such as education and teacher training for women. A special focus is being placed on science and technology for women. Plant-based farming has become a staple for farmers in Côte d'Ivoire. Apart from its diverse and natural splendor, Croatia has been a beacon of light in both humanitarian and animal rights. As a European Union transit country for traveling refugees, Croatia has insisted on keeping its borders open for free passage as well as providing shelter and assistance for those with health issues. Croatia further extends its compassion toward animals. In early 2017, Croatia joined the Fur Free Alliance and implemented a full ban on fur farming. With a growing awareness of animal rights across the country, Croatia is also becoming more vegan-friendly.
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2020-05-18   3220 vizionări
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2020-05-18
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