This past month the Himalayan Institute was honored to host Khen Rinpoche Tsetan, abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in southern India. The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, who is the second-highest-ranking lama after the Dalai Lama. Following up on Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche’s visit to the Himalayan Institute last year, Khen Rinpoche wanted to see how his monastery could join the Himalayan Institute’s Energy Farming program currently under way in Tibetan refugee settlements.
During his visit, Khen Rinpoche toured the Institute’s vegetable garden and energy farming demonstration plot, where medicinal and biofuel crops are being cultivated. The techniques used in these gardens are the same techniques that the Himalayan Institute promotes in all of its energy farming projects in Cameroon and at the Tibetan settlements.
The Himalayan Institute is working in collaboration with the Tibetan government-in-exile and launched its Energy Farming program in Rabgayling Tibetan Settlement in early 2009. In the 11 months since the program started, over 10,000 trees are growing at the settlement’s demonstration site, which will eventually produce biofuels.