The World Economic Forum at Davos is usually a place for serious and weighty matters, as global leaders and the doyens of the business world discuss pressing issues. However, it is not without its lighter moments.
Take the interaction between legendary conservationist Jane Goodall and spiritual leader Sadhguru at the recently concluded WEF 2020 event.
The two were participating in the launch of the ', a plan led by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN. Their aim is to plant a trillion trillion trees across the world by 2030.
Following the event, the Goodall and Sadhguru had a brief chat. Following their conversation the spiritual leader took to Twitter to compliment the conservationist.
“What a fortune for the chimpanzees that this wonderful woman fell in love with them. I tried but she said my beard is too luxuriant to pass as a chimp. A great privilege to be with you Ma’am,” he wrote.
Twitter users were touched and excited to see these two stalwart environmentalists finally meet each other.
One user commented: “To see the meeting of these two beautiful ones is. Each one dedicated their lives to bringing humanity back to humanity”
"U confessed what I have felt for decades for this lovely woman,” wrote another user.
"I read about her when I was 10, and a huge fan ever since," added a third.
They also discussed the more serious issue of ecological restoration.
At the “1 Trillion Tree” event, Dr. Goodall drew lessons from her pioneering conservation work with the chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. She recalled how she got people to empathise with chimpanzees back in the 1960s, by giving the chimpanzees names. She suggested taking the same approach with trees. “If we have a tree in our name, we want that tree to live,” she said.
Sadhguru meanwhile spoke about the need to make ecological restoration into an economically lucrative process. He cited the Cauvery Calling and projects as examples of community-led ecological restoration, where farmers plant and grow timber trees for profit.
“Forests on the planet have reached a point where it cannot take any more exploitation. Timber has to become an agricultural produce,” he added.
Rally for Rivers incidentally was awarded the National Water Award for 2018 by the Union Government under the category of Educative/Mass Awareness Efforts. It was also the subject of discussion between UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim and Sadhguru at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn, 2017.