THE CROAK is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial.

Conservation across religious boundaries

We have only one Planet Earth. No matter what story of creation we believe in, no matter how we view the source of all life or what our beliefs are around divinity. Ultimately, all of our lives depend on the resources that Nature provides us with. 

Our world view affects the choices we make.  The way we view both our human world and the natural world we live in, governs how we relate to them. This also affects our connection or disconnection with Nature. Indigenous communities have paradigms in which they hold their interconnectedness with Nature as primary. Most world religions have their origins in Nature worship and religious scriptures speak of the need to protect Nature. Religious leaders can be powerful advocates of this message of conservation. 

Photo source:

Photo source:

Nature as God

These excerpts from various religions illustrate this similarity in world view... 


यस्यां वेदिं परिगृह्णन्ति भूम्यां यस्यां यज्ञं तन्वते विश्वकर्माणः । यस्यां मीयन्ते स्वरवः पृथिव्यामूर्ध्वाः शुक्रा आहुत्याः पुरस्तात् । सा नो भूमिर्वर्धयद्वर्धमाना ॥१३॥

The Earth Herself is the altar in which all activities are a sacred sacrifice; All the sounds of the Earth are the sacred chants which purify all beings; May this expansive Earth expand our consciousness.

Bhumi Sukta: Prayer to the Earth


“All Praise be to Allah, to whom belongs all that is in the heavens and earth, and praise be to Him in the life to come. He is the All Wise, the All Aware. He knows all that goes into the earth and all that comes out of it; He knows all that comes down from the heavens and all that goes up to them. He is the Merciful, the Forgiving.” (Qur’an 34:1-2).


“One day a deity asked the Buddha, “Whose merit grows day and night, who is the righteous, virtuous person that goes to the realm of bliss?” Answered the Buddha, the merit of those people who plant groves, parks, build bridges, make ponds, dwelling places, etc. grows day and night, and such religious persons go to heaven.” – (Discourse on the Merit Gained in Planting Groves, Vanaropa Sutta) 


Interfaith Rainforest Initiative

The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative is an international, multi-faith alliance that aims to bring moral urgency and faith-based leadership to global efforts to end tropical deforestation. It is a platform for faithbased leaders and communities to work hand-in-hand with indigenous peoples, governments, civil society and business on actions that protect rainforests and safeguard those that serve as their guardians. 

Visit the IRI website here
Dr Charles McNeill
Register Here

Dr Charles McNeill , one of the founders of this initiative will be speaking to us on REVIVE on Sunday Sept 6, at 9 30 am. For 25 years, McNeill has been a leader in the United Nations' work on sound environmental management for sustainable development in the developing world. Previous to his current position with UN Environment, he m anaged UNDP's programs on forests, biodiversity & ecosystems, climate change mitigation & adaptation, sustainable energy, stakeholder engagement, the MDGs, SDGs and public-private partnerships.

Throughout his career, he has devoted special attention to engaging with and empowering Indigenous Peoples (IPs) & local communities.

He founded/led many global initiatives, including the:

• ‘The 'Interfaith Rainforest Initiative' (

• ‘Indigenous Peoples Initiative for UNFCCC COP 21’ to ensure IPs made an unprecedented contribution to the Paris Agreement in Dec 2015

• Global coalition of gov’ts, businesses, NGOs & IPs that delivered the Forests Action Area of the UN 2014 Climate Summit, and COPs 21, 22, 23 & created the ‘New York Declaration on Forests’

• ‘Community-Based REDD+’ initiative to provide grants to empower IPs & communities to protect forests

• ‘UN-REDD Programme’ which supports nationally-led REDD+ efforts in 60 forest countries

• ‘Equator Initiative’, a global capacity building, knowledge and advocacy effort to foster successful local solutions for people, nature and resilient communities, featuring the ‘Equator Prize’

McNeill has raised over $500 million for the programs he created. In the 1990s, he developed GEF programs throughout Africa on biodiversity & climate change, and subsequently managed GEF programming and policy globally. Prior to joining UNDP, he worked in the NGO sector on hunger eradication and sustainable development in South Asia and Africa

Join the REVIVE series every Sunday

During the recent COVID 19 lockdown, eCoexist began a series of web talks called REVIVE - as a way to reconnect with self, with community and with Nature. These talks started as chats between friends to see how we were going to work towards a new normal and to find a way to envision a different future. Slowly, our audience grew to include more people and the discussions to cover various aspects of Sustainability and Self. 

Every Sunday, we welcome you to connect with us through the REVIVE talks, that is bringing together a fantastic community of sensitive and brilliant people, with whom we can co create a new future. 

The talks are free for registration and have ample time and space for a deep and authentic conversation with the speaker. Some of our guests are otherwise difficult to reach as they live and work in remote locations and so these are precious opportunities to hear from them in person. 

Visit the REVIVE webpage
Register for REVIVE : 6 Sept

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Sunday, 6 Sept, 2020 9.30 am India
Topic: Revive w Ecoexist - FAITH IN CONSERVATION : Dr Charles McNeill

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Register Here
The REVIVE Support network : Contributing to a new paradigm

On 19 July, we launched a new initiative, the REVIVE support network to collect funds for authentic work done by various NGOS on issues of sustainability. We invite our esteemed speakers to recommend a deserving group that needs financial support. Participants of the talk are invited to send small ( or large!) amounts to the eCoexist foundation over the next few days. This contribution is gathered and then sent as a collective sum to the organisation identified by the speaker. 

On 19 July we raised RS 27,000 which was sent to the Grama Vikas group in Mulbagal, Karnataka on the guidance of our speaker S Vishwanath who knows their work closely.

We will continue this effort for all the upcoming speakers. Participants can pay as little as Rs 100 to contribute. 

The registration for the REVIVE talks is FREE and the organisers and speakers both offer their time and energy in creating these talks voluntarily. You are also welcome to send in a voluntary contribution to REVIVE to enable us to expand the reach of  this series. 

The REVIVE support network allows for all of us to enable authentic work on the ground to help our country and its people through this crisis and to protect our natural resources. We welcome you to join our efforts. 

( Pl mention the cause for which you would like to contribute on your transfer)

Did you enjoy this newsletter? Subscribe on our website

The Croak is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial. Satirical, urgent and wise the newsletter brings to your attention, topics of global environmental relevance as well as emerging encouraging alternatives. Put together by a team of passionate Nature lovers, The Croak hopes to look at the environmental crisis in its face. It is a tool to reconnect readers to Nature, through questioning and self reflection. To understand the outer environment as a reflection of our own inner state, individually and as a species. And to take responsibility for enabling change.
If you would like to contribute articles on ecology consciousness and sustainability please get in touch with us.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram
306 Harmony Wing 2 North Avenue Kalyaninagar Pune 411006
All rights reserved.

Not interested in our newsletter anymore? Give us feedback before you unsubscribe.