From the Vancouver Dialogues to the United Nations

It's been five years since Coquitlam's Anjali Appadurai shared the stage in Vancouver with the Dalai Lama to talk about how we can nurture compassion. It's now 2011, and 21-year-old Anjali has just left the stage at the UN  Climate Change Conference in Durban and she's still talking about compassion. And this time the message she's making loud and clear is that we need to start showing compassion to our environment.

At the heart of Anjali's message is that after years of broken promises it's time for governments at all levels and in every corner of the world to "get it done" when it comes to fighting climate change.

It was back in 2006 when Anjali appeared at the Dalai Lama Center's Vancouver Dialogues to talk with one of the world's biggest supporters of the environment, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (LEFT: Anjali prepares her message to the Dalai Lama. RIGHT: Anjali on stage with His Holiness. ). 

 

The message at the Vancouver Dialogues wasn't necessarily about protecting the earth, but Anjali sees a link between the 2006 discussion about nurturing compassion and the message she's sharing now.

"I see environmental issues as fundamentally human issues," Anjali told the DLC. "That's why I am working in the environmental movement. Climate change and other environmental issues ultimately affect human life and livelihoods."

Anjali says the moments she shared with the Dalai Lama have profoundly affected her in many ways.

"My experience that summer of 2006 helped shape many of my views in later life. The entire summer we prepared for those few moments on stage by reading the the Dalai Lama's books and absorbing his philosophy. Those lessons stayed with me, shaping the course of my actions over the next few years."

Watch Anjali's speech to the UN Climate Change Conference below.

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