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Chile gives legal recognition to Sikh Dharma

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Photo: prabhukhalsa.blogspot.com

Chile: Chile has over 200 legally recognized spiritual paths. But until January 25th 2016, the Sikh religion was not one of them.

After 4 years of consistent effort, however, the fledgling Sikh community in Chile achieved legal recognition of Sikh Dharma as a religion.

“Now we will be protected, with more safety in our jobs, in our health system and political system,” Rupinder Kaur Khalsa of Sikh Dharma Chile said of the legalization. “That is very good news for all of us…We can have the right to have gatherings in public places, also.

“We started the legalization process 4 years ago. Creating legal documents that describe what a turban is, what Sikh Dharma is, who we are, what do we want to legalize for Sikh Dharma Chile, and what our values are as Sikhs. Then, the legal process was about waiting for the government to approve this.”

The Chilean government did so in January.

The Sikh religion was introduced into Chile in the late 20th century by the Sikh missionary Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, also known as Yogi Bhajan.  Through his inspiration, people in Chile began to adopt the Sikh faith. Now, there is a thriving community of Chilean born Sikh families in Chile, who host many spiritually uplifting events in their country.

Source: http://www.sikhnet.com

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Chile to Begin Budgeting for Costs of Fighting Climate Change

Chile will begin budgeting for the costs of fighting climate change, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain announced Tuesday, as receding glaciers

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Chile, Budgeting, Climate Change
FILE - Chile's Finance Minister Felipe Larrain attends an interview with Reuters at the OECD headquarters in Paris, France, May 31, 2018. VOA

Chile will begin budgeting for the costs of fighting climate change, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain announced Tuesday, as receding glaciers and drought put a squeeze on water and natural resources in the world’s top copper producer.

The South American nation, which is due to host the COP25 global conference on climate change in December, said it would include a new line item for “climate expenditures” in its government budgets beginning in 2020.

“Currently, we don’t know how much we’re spending in the financing of climate action. The lack of information makes it difficult to make good decisions,” Larrain told reporters.

The methodology, called the Climate Public Expenditures and Institutional Review (CPEIR), is sponsored in part by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and has received funding from Germany. It includes a tool that allows countries to more precisely track how much money is spent on fighting climate change.

Chile, Budgeting, Climate Change
FILE – The Codelco El Teniente copper mine, the world’s largest underground copper mine, is shown near Machali, Chile, April 11, 2019. VOA

Larrain said the tool would allow Chile to “assess … the costs of inaction, that is, incorporate the analysis of the cost of not implementing immediate and timely measures.”

A years-long drought in Chile, coupled with a growing population and a sprawling copper and lithium mining industry thirsty for water, have forced Chilean officials to look more closely at the costs of climate change.

“The lands threatened by desertification exceed 60% of the national territory. … Having an estimate of the critical investments we must make to address the issue of desertification and soil erosion can have a great impact,” he said.

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The CPEIR methodology is already applied in more than 30 countries, including Colombia and Ecuador. (VOA)