ISKCON News | New Mayapur Works to Build a Sustainable Vedic Village

( – Gopaswami Prabhu and devotees engaged in eco-house construction 

New Mayapur in Central France is working to implement Srila Prabhupada’s vision for rural farm communities where devotees can live in harmony with nature, while addressing the climate crisis. The aim is to build a Vedic village as outlined by Srila Prabhupada, where earth and her natural resources are protected, which is in perfect harmony with the modern day need for sustainability. Implementing his ideas for community living, based on Vedic wisdom, gives a lasting solution to withstand the ill-effects of soaring temperatures. 

The village aims to achieve food self-sufficiency by cultivating its own food, as advocated by Srila Prabhupada. “This helps achieve food security in the face of natural disasters induced by climate change and reduces the carbon footprint of food occurring in transport, distribution and packaging,” said Locanananda Das, President, New Mayapur. Cows and bulls are protected as per his advice, which enhances food sovereignty, preserves biodiversity and their responsible grazing practices enhance soil quality. The vegetarian diet prescribed in scriptures reduces the community’s role in global deforestation to grow feed for the hundreds of millions of animals slaughtered annually.

Following advice of Srila Prabhupada to abstain from using harmful pesticides, the farms in the village do not use substances that are harmful to living creatures in the environment. “Here we use cow dung and compost. This has the added advantage of reducing emissions caused by pesticides and also replenishing soil, making it resilient to extreme climatic events caused by climate change,” explained Gandharvika Rai Devi Dasi, Vice President, New Mayapur. “As Srila Prabhupada encouraged the use of men and animals over machines, we use goats to clear bushes in the forest instead of using machines or chemicals,” she added. This reduces carbon emissions. He further emphasized the cultivation of gardens, protection of trees and animals and stressed on full cooperation between man and nature. Hence, the village maintains several gardens and a forest, while protecting its wildlife. These measures result in deep and long-term carbon capture, while maintaining a healthy  ecosystem. 

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