HA NAM, Vietnam: Scientists warn there are only a dozen years before millions of people experience the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty due to climate change.
This warning was also announced loud and clear to world leaders, Buddhist leaders, and Buddhists around the world at the United Nation's 2019 Vesak Festival through one single painting.

Called the Cover of Future, Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thi Kim Duc used traditional Vietnamese silk, Van Gogh inspired water colors, soft but bold strokes, together with deep and lifeless colours to paint a dying tree, partly submerged in sea water. This painting depicts the devastating results of climate change - a world without green trees, animals and humans.

Using a simple painting style, Mrs. Nguyen wanted the artwork to pass from heart to heart, relaying her love for the environment, like in Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu's words People rely on land, land relies on God, God relies on religion, religion replies on nature. She also wanted people to realize that the planet can only be saved if they change their wasteful and polluting habits.

105 copies of this painting were given to the heads of states and leaders of Buddhism from over 100 countries who attended attend the Vesak celebrations. They include Buddhist leaders such as Professor, Dr. Phra Brahmapundit - Chairman of the International Council for the Day of Vesak (ICDV), Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung - Minister of Information and Communication of Vietnam, Ryan Giggs - Coach of the Welsh National Football Team, the Prime Minister of Nepal, the President of Bhutan's Senate, and Sang Ji Zha Xi - Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Buddhist Church. They were all very sympathetic and touched upon receiving the painting.

Through the Cover of Future, I want to remind world leaders about their responsibility of preserving our world. As the decision-makers, they must take the lead in this fight to spread the message of taking responsibility to protect the environment to their people and if they don't take action straight away, the world will end. I want to see them hang this picture in their living room, so they can be reminded of their duty daily, said artist Nguyen Thi Kim Duc.

(Posted on 19 July 2019, 1675574087 3O236O47O240)