The Dalai Lama kicked off a three-day environmental summit at the University of Portland Thursday, speaking at an interfaith dialgue at Chiles Center.

Dressed in his traditional gold and red robe, topped with a purple University of Portland visor, the Tibetan spiritual leader said that people should take religious faith seriously.  He told the thousands gathered that faith and care for the environment go hand-in-hand.

"If you love God you respect God, then God's creation, the whole planet, you must respect. Taking care of the environment should become part of our daily life."

He called on the faithful to come together to care for the environment and its people, imploring them to help close the gap between the rich and the poor.

This is the revered spiritual leader's first visit to Portland since 2001, when he spoke in Pioneer Courthouse Square.