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Sacred Earth: Faiths for Conservation

Society & Culture  (tags: animals, climate-change, climate, climatechange, CO2emissions, conservation, destruction, ecosystems, endangered, energy, environment, forests, globalwarming, globalwarming, green, habitatdestruction, habitat, nature, pollution, protection, politics, Sust )

- 2195 days ago -
Many of the most important conservation places in the world are sacred. Sites like the Amazon, South Dakota's Black Hills, and the Mekong River are deeply rooted in local spiritual and cultural traditions.


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JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 12:11 pm
Sacred Earth: Faiths for Conservation


Many of the most important conservation places in the world are sacred. Sites like the Amazon, South Dakota’s Black Hills, and the Mekong River are deeply rooted in local spiritual and cultural traditions. These places also face overwhelming threats, including deforestation, pollution, unsustainable extraction, melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Such threats not only endanger the integrity of ecosystems but also leave the people who live there impoverished and vulnerable.

Over 80 percent of people in the world follow a specific faith; there are at least 2 billion Christians, 1.34 billion Muslims, 950 million Hindus, and 200 million Buddhists worldwide. WWF's Sacred Earth program works with religious leaders and faith communities who best articulate ethical and spiritual ideals around the sacred value of Earth and its diversity, and are committed to protecting it.

Faith leaders at ivory burn WWF / James Morgan

Buddhist Teachers Deliver Powerful Message Against Illegal Ivory Trade

Under a setting sun, four of Thailand's most revered Buddhist teachers came together to deliver a powerful message against the illegal trade of ivory in Thailand.
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Buddhists and elephant portrait© WWF-Thailand
Why It Matters

Rev. Patrick Maina
Dekila Chungyalpa

"Christianity, Islam and Hinduism represent the major religions of East Africa. In that sense, our religions include poachers and destroyers of our wildlife since these three religions represent the majority of the people. We will work with WWF to remove ignorance from them and prevent the destruction of animals and their habitats."

The Rev. Patrick Maina
Presbyterian Church of East Africa
Professor Abdulghafur El-Busaidy
Dekila Chungyalpa

"I feel that we, as humans, it is our duty to protect wildlife and treat them as other creatures that God has created. I am appealing not only to Muslims but humanity to really look after the animals, the wildlife, the plants. All these are for us to use, but at the same time protect them. And in the long run, by doing so, we are protecting ourselves, our existence."

Prof. Abdulghafur El-Busaidy
National Chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims
Rosalie Little Thunder, Lakota Elder
Thomas Van Veen

"We hear the voices of the Earth. We can share that information with you so we can all be good relatives to all that is."

Rosalie Little Thunder
Lakota Elder
Dan Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change
Thomas Van Veen

"It is time to demonstrate a love for the creator by loving the creation."

Dan Misleh
Executive Director
Catholic Coalition on Climate Change
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinponche, Buddhist Scholar
Thomas Van Veen

"Our well-being and survival is totally dependent on things that are outside, like this Earth, the freshwater and the fresh air that we breathe."

What WWF Is Doing

Our partnerships with faith leaders and communities focus on activities such as forestation and watershed restoration, river protection and clean up, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and combating illegal wildlife trade.
Faith Motivates Conservation

Faiths guide and direct the way we think, behave, and live our lives. But the power of faith is not solely spiritual. Collectively, faith-related institutions own almost 8 percent of total habitable land surface and constitute the world's third largest category of financial investors. Their determination to address climate change or to protect wildlife has enormous potential to influence the fate of natural spaces and species.

WWF's Sacred Earth program builds a global dialogue with religious leaders and faith institutions on ways to develop and enrich societal aspirations, values, and lifestyles that are ecologically sustainable and spiritually principled. We support the work of faithful Christian congregations that seek to become better stewards of Creation, of Buddhist monasteries that practice compassion toward the Earth as part of their Bodhisattva vow, and of Muslim imams who see the protection of nature as a trust from Allah.
Collaboration Brings Results

WWF’s work is based on strong, long-term partnerships with a diverse range of religious leaders and faith institutions. We maintain a close partnership with the Alliance of Religion and Conservation (ARC), a UK-based organization that works with religions around the world and was established by WWF in 1985.

In the Eastern Himalayas, WWF helped establish Khoryug, an association of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries that works on environmental protection under the auspices of His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The partnership has resulted in the publication of environmental guidelines for Buddhists and more than 55 monastery-led projects to address forest degradation, water loss, wildlife trade, waste, pollution and climate change.

In the Greater Mekong, WWF works to protect endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in collaboration with His Holiness the Mahasangharaja Bour Kry, the Great Supreme Patriarch of Buddhism in Cambodia, and Buddhist temples that flank the Mekong River. Monks train to be effective advocates for freshwater conservation in an effort to ensure that the population of fewer than 80 Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins continues to survive.

David C (80)
Friday March 15, 2013, 12:27 pm
thanks, great post!

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 12:28 pm
You are welcome Dave!

Kit B (276)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:41 pm

There are at least 3,000 religions in this world, maybe a few more should be included. Though I do hope these efforts are more than PR and produce some much needed results.

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:55 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Holly Lawrence (430)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:19 pm
What an wonderful article, Thanks much, JL! This is something all should read..I will share with as many as I can!

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:24 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Holly because you have done so within the last day.

Terry V (30)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:27 pm

Past Member (0)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:30 pm
Good article although i feel that the people that are doing all the damage to the earth and the abuse of animals cant be very religious

noted thanks

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:52 pm
You are welcome Terry and Carol!
You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last day.

Angelika R (143)
Friday March 15, 2013, 3:59 pm
Beautiful read, thx Jl-Yet just a READ, words... into mostly deaf ears and blind eyes :(

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 4:04 pm
Wonderful description Angelika. You are welcome. You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 12:25 pm
I am not a member of any faith or religion and I don't believe in god; gods and goddesses. I do believe that the planet is a living entity and that we are guests here. We have become the worst kind of guests; the one that kills its host. This is the only planet we have to live on and it is time we cleaned up our mess; amended our behavior and started finding ways that will allow us to live in harmony with the planet. If we don't we just might find ourselves rapidly becoming extinct whether it is through our own hubris, myopia and intransigent arrogance or through the planet exacting extreme measures to keep itself healthy.

Phillip Wood (210)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 1:06 pm
Wikipedia lists 360 million Buddhists and 385 "Chinese folk religion" members, so the Buddhist number in the article seems a bit low- FYI

Christeen A (300)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 2:34 pm
Thanks for this post. I enjoyed it.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 4:41 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Theodore because you have done so within the last day.
You are welcome Christeen.

Varcolac Veroscarius (93)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 6:49 pm
The planet must be a sacred place, the animals, the human animals, that would be the best religion!.

Birgit W (160)
Sunday March 17, 2013, 4:45 pm

JL A (281)
Sunday March 17, 2013, 7:53 pm
You are welcome Birgit

Patricia R (13)
Monday March 18, 2013, 2:35 pm

JL A (281)
Monday March 18, 2013, 4:23 pm
You are welcome Patricia

Melania Padilla (123)
Wednesday March 20, 2013, 10:57 am

JL A (281)
Wednesday March 20, 2013, 1:41 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Melania because you have done so within the last day.

Sergio Padilla (65)
Tuesday March 26, 2013, 7:57 pm
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