His Holiness the 17th Karmapa: The Tibetan Cause is “an Environmental Issue” [UPDATED]

“The 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje at the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom, New York, America.” Image via the Telegraph.

The Telegraph has a new interview with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who is visiting Europe for the first time. His environmental work receives special focus in the piece. Author Mick Brown writes:

In recent years, he has taken a particular interest in the environment, establishing his own environmental organisation, Khoryug, which last year hosted a conference in Delhi on water supply. Many of the world’s great rivers flow out of the Tibetan Plateau — the Yellow River, Yangtze Kiang, Mekong, Salween, Sutlej and the Brahmaputra, supplying water to half of the world’s population. Climate change and intensive Chinese development in Tibet has contributed to the desertification of grasslands, the drying of lakes and river systems and the dislocation of nomadic communities on the Tibetan Plateau.

“For me, this is very important because when you are telling people about the Tibetan cause, people immediately think: ‘Oh this is a political issue,’ and lots of people don’t want to touch a political issue – lots of nations don’t want to touch this political issue. There needs to be a different kind of approach. The political way… over 50 years we don’t get any good result. But when you’re talking about the environmental issue of Tibet, this is different thing. It’s not just a Tibetan issue. It’s a Chinese issue, an Asian issue, a world issue; Tibet is the most important environmental region. So to protect the Tibetan environment is also connected to the Tibetan way of life, culture and religion – it’s all related.”

You can read the rest of the Telegraph‘s report here. (In addition, you can find embedded in the article a video of His Holiness talking about the environment.)

The third public talk His Holiness gave, entitled “Buddhism and the Environment – Living in Harmony with Our Planet “, is also available for free streaming on YouTube. You can watch it below…

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