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For the last 12 years, Dekila Chungyalpa has worked with religious and indigenous leaders, scientists, and policymakers to design community-based environmental and climate programs. But having grown up in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, surrounded by strong women who chose to walk the monastic path, Chungyalpa hasn’t always found it easy to show up as both a devout Tibetan Buddhist and a conservation scientist.

In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Chungyalpa shares with Tricycle’s editor James Shaheen how she’s come to integrate her commitments to science and faith, deal with climate deniers, and head the Loka Initiative, a climate-change outreach program that empowers and uplifts religious communities. In the face of so much eco-anxiety, climate distress, and doom and gloom, it is ultimately Buddhist teachings on emptiness, impermanence, non-attachment, and compassion, she says, that sustain her.

To find out more about Khoryug, visit

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