Dekila Chungyalpa

Dekila Chungyalpa

Director of the Loka Initiative – Center for Healthy Minds and Healthy Minds Innovations

Dekila Chungyalpa is the founder and director of an award-winning capacity building and outreach program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for faith leaders, religious institutions, and culture keepers of Indigenous traditions. Known as the Loka Initiative, its mission is to support faith-led environmental efforts locally and around the world through collaborations with faith and Indigenous leaders on environmental protection, sustainable development, and climate issues. 

Prior to that, she was the recipient of the McCluskey award and fellowship at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and lectured and researched there while she designed the prototype for the Loka Initiative. Dekila founded and directed Sacred Earth, an acclaimed faith-based conservation program at the World Wildlife Fund from 2009 to 2014. She was the WWF-US Director for the Greater Mekong Program for five years before that and also worked for WWF in the Eastern Himalayas for five years. 

Dekila serves as the environmental adviser and helped establish Khoryug, an association of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries carrying out environmental and climate projects in the Himalayas under the auspices of His Holiness the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. 

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