Dr. Richard Davidson presenting at the first Loka Initiative.
Courtesy of University of Wisconsin–Madison

Loka Initiative

University of Wisconsin–Madison
Madison, WI

The Loka Initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is an education and outreach platform for faith leaders and religious institutions focusing on environmental issues. Its mission is to support faith-led environmental efforts by helping build the capacity of faith leaders and religious institutions on environmental protection, sustainable development, and global health issue​s, and by creating new opportunities for partnerships, public outreach, and project implementation.

“Loka” (लोकः), an ancient Sanskrit term, usually refers to “our world” as the basis for all life. The world evoked by Loka is a complex and interwoven one, where multiple environments, species, and dimensions interact to constitute a whole. The term Loka can thus mean a “world” as large as a planet, but it can also refer to a single individual who constitutes an equally complex and interdependent “world.” Thus, each Loka or world is in a sense many worlds, overlapping and embedded within each other. Loka also means “vision,” the act of seeing that not only beholds a world but brings it into being.

Featured Media

Dekila Chungyalpa

How Dekila Chungyalpa Draws on Faith to Protect the Planet

She’s now an interfaith climate change facilitator, but Dekila Chungyalpa wasn’t always able to reconcile her Buddhist practice with a career in environmentalism.

Becoming a Buddhist Climate Scientist

Dekila Chungyalpa is a conservation scientist and director of a faith-based, climate-change initiative. In this podcast, she shares how Buddhist teachings on emptiness, impermanence, non-attachment, and compassion sustain her.

Meditation for Eco-anxiety

A short practice for coping with our overwhelming fears of climate crisis
The first part of a two-part interview with Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the Loka Initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She discusses the trajectory of her work with religion and ecology, including her experience founding and directing Sacred Earth, an acclaimed faith-based conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund from 2009 to 2014. She also discuss her contributions to Khoryug, a Tibetan Buddhist eco-monastic association in the Himalayas under the auspices of H.H. the 17th Karmapa. Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
The second part of a two-part interview with Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the Loka Initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
The first Loka Symposium. Courtesy of University of Wisconsin–Madison