July 12, 2011 – Washington DC
For several years now, His Holiness the Karmapa has been very interested and active in environmental protection and ecology. Today he had opportunity to meet with senior scientists and environmental leaders at the World Wildlife Fund headquarters in Washington DC. He toured the WWF building, which features the third largest green roof in Washington DC and has received LEED Platinum Energy Star certification, which means that the building is truly sustainable. His Holiness was briefed on the latest science and solutions by senior WWF staff on issues such as climate change, wildlife trade, market transformation, and disaster recovery and he engaged in a conversation with the scientists on how best to reach out to people and change their hearts. Referred to as the Green Buddha by the Senior Vice President of WWF, which is the largest environmental organization in the world, His Holiness spoke to the staff, reminding them that the most important thing is that we are all inter-connected and that we must make everyone part of the solution. He praised the important work that WWF does and said that it gave him hope as he continues to do his part in the Himalayas and that he does not feel so alone as he strives to solve environmental problems there. He concluded by reciting a prayer to bless the staff, many of whom were visibly moved.
In the afternoon, His Holiness attended the Kalachakra teachings, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama conveyed the preliminary initiation for students gathered.
Following a public audience which was attended by over 750 people, His Holiness the Karmapa visited some well known Washington DC memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam memorial.