Buddhist leader Gyalwang Drukpa named “Guardian of the Himalayas”

Gyalwang Drukpa, named "Guardian of the Himalayas" for his environmental conservation leadership

The title “Guardian of the Himalayas” was bestowed on Gyalwang Drukpa, head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, in a New York ceremony September 23 by the environmental advocacy group Waterkeeper Alliance. The Alliance, founded by environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., conferred the honor in recognition of Gyalwang Drukpa’s leadership on water conservation and glacial preservation in the region through the “environmental sustainability venture” of his organization, Live to Love.

Among many other accomplishments to date, Live to Love earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 for “Most Trees Planted Simultaneously” — 50,033 in the Himalayan region of Ladakh — and then broke its own record by planting 99,103 more trees in the same area in 2012.

Speaking on the occasion of his award, the Gyalwang Drukpa said, “Live to Love is committed to preserving the environment and creating a sustainable ecological system that ensures that we give back to the nature from which we continue to draw incessantly. With global recognition and support like these, we will continue to do our small bit towards preserving the planet for our future generations.”