The World Environment Day 2017 theme is 'Connecting With Nature'. UPF Co-Founder, Mrs Dr. Hak Ja Han-Moon has emphasised many times that one of the Universal Peace Federation goals is the importance of treasuring the natural world for the sake of future generations.
She presented the inaugural Sun Hak Peace Prize to two individuals who have had a positive impact on the world. The $1 million prize was shared between the two Prize Laureates. If you have suggestions for nominations for future awards please contact
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Dr. Modadugu V. Gupta is an Indian fisheries scientist who developed aquaculture technologies as an alternative to the future food crisis, and caused an explosive increase in fish production known now as the “Blue Revolution.” As a researcher, he not only developed these technologies, but also disseminated them to those in extreme poverty throughout Southeast Asia, Africa and other regions, considerably improving their nutritional status and self-sufficiency.
Laureate President Anote Tong, the President of the Republic of Kiribati located in the South Pacific, one of the world’s most vulnerable countries threatened by climate change, is spreading awareness to the international community of the need to control climate change.
Father Sun Myung Moon UPF Co-Founder in his auto-biography, 'Peace Loving Global Citizen' spoke of his own 'connecting with nature'. He wrote, 'Spending time in the forest cleanses the mind. The sound of leaves rustling in the wind, the sound of the wind blowing through the reeds, the sound of frogs croaking in the ponds: All you can hear are the sounds of nature; no extraneous thoughts enter the mind. If you empty your mind and receive nature into your entire being, there is no separation between you and nature. Nature comes into you, and you become completely one with nature. In the moment that the boundary between you and nature disappears, you feel a profound sense of joy. Then nature becomes you, and you become nature.'
He continued, 'I have always treasured such experiences in my life. Even now, I close my eyes and enter a state in which I am one with nature. Some refer to this as anātman, or “not-self,” but to me it is more than that, because nature enters and settles into the place that has been made empty. While in that state, I listen to the sounds that nature hands to me—the sounds of the pine trees, the sounds of the bugs—and we become friends. I could go to a village and know, without meeting anyone, the disposition of the minds of the people living there. I would go into the meadow of the village and spend the night there, then listen to what the crops in the fields would tell me. I could see whether the crops were sad or happy and that would tell me the kind of people who lived there.'
'Even the smallest grain of sand contains the principles of the world, and even a speck of dust floating in the air contains the harmony of the universe. Everything around us was given birth through a combination of forces so complex we cannot even imagine it. These forces are closely related to each other. Nothing in the universe was conceived outside the heart of God. The movement of just one leaf holds within it the breathing of the universe.'