Faith Based Environmental Initiatives in Canada

Joanne Moyer: The King's University 

Buddhist Council of Canada

About:  The Buddhist Council of Canada established in 1985 to participate in interfaith initiatives. It was previously known as the Toronto Mahavihara (est.1978) and the Buddhist Federation of Toronto (est. 1981). The Buddhist Council of Canada’s two main objectives is supporting and promoting the traditions among the Schools of Buddhism and supporting Buddhist communities across Canada.


Environmental Activities:

  • The Buddhist community was most active on environmental issues in the 1990s through global initiatives such as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.
  • Peter Timmerman, a professor at York University, has provided a Buddhist perspective for several interfaith environmental initiatives. He helped start the Canadian Coalition for Ecology, Ethics, and Religions, and was involved in the Canadian Forum on Religion and Ecology, and worked on the Sacred Literature Trust, producing declarations from major religious traditions on the environment.
  • Most environmental engagement occurs at the temple or community level.
  • “The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change” was an international initiative prepared by15 senior Buddhist leaders, originally authored in 2009 and updated in 2015. The statement was presented at the Paris COP in 2015 and was endorsed by Canadian Buddhists.



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