Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN (Print): 2328-3912 ISSN (Online): 2328-3920 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/aees Editor-in-chief: Alejandro González Medina
Open Access
Journal Browser
Go
Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2017, 5(2), 24-34
DOI: 10.12691/aees-5-2-1
Open AccessReview Article

Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources through Spirituality

Chandra Prakash Kala1,

1Ecosystem & Environment Management, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Pub. Date: May 31, 2017

Cite this paper:
Chandra Prakash Kala. Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources through Spirituality. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2017; 5(2):24-34. doi: 10.12691/aees-5-2-1

Abstract

Conservation of nature and natural resources has been a much challenging task in the present state of affairs where economy prevails over ecology. International treaties and conventions are signed and policies, laws and Acts have been enacted by the countries across the world, however, hostilities remain while applying the protected area policies which largely deprive indigenous communities from their traditional rights. It hurts their feelings and hence changes their behaviour, which impacts the objective, negatively. Historically, religion being a product of feelings and beliefs has been used as a powerful tool for nature conservation. Making age-old religious entities such as sacred landscapes, sacred groves and sacred species by various cultural groups are the live manifestations of historical, cultural and emotional attachment of human beings with nature and natural resources. The philosophy of religion can continue to be used as a powerful tool for mitigating negative impacts of current anthropogenic pressures on the nature and its resources. With this background, the present review aims to analyse various practices of nature and natural resource conservation as embedded in the religions.

Keywords:
nature natural resources conservation religion sacred landscape sacred grove

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

References:

[1]  Einstein, A. 1949. The World as I See It. Philosophical Library, New York.
 
[2]  Iltis, H. 1980. The Urban Setting: Man’s Need for Open Spaces. Connecticut College, New London.
 
[3]  Kellert, S.R. and Wilson, E.O. 1995. The Biophilia Hypothesis. Island Press, Washington DC, USA.
 
[4]  Kala, C.P. 2010. Ethnobotanical and ecological approaches for conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants. Acta Horticulturae, 860: 19-26.
 
[5]  Brandt, J.S., Butsic, V., Schwab, B., Kuemmerle, T. And Radeloff, V.C. 2015. The relative effectiveness of protected areas, a logging ban, and sacred areas for old-growth forest protection in southwest China. Biological Conservation, 181: 1-8.
 
[6]  Boyd, J.M. 1984. The role of religion in conservation. Environmentalist, 4 (7): 40-44.
 
[7]  Avise, J.C., Hubbell, S.P. and Ayala, F.J. 2008. In the light of evolution II: Biodiversity and extinction. PNAS, 105: 11453-11457.
 
[8]  Lawton, J. H., and May, R.M. 1996. Extinction Rates. Oxford University Press.
 
[9]  Miller, J.R. 2005. Biodiversity conservation and the extinction of experience. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 20 (8): 430-434.
 
[10]  Barlow, J. Gardner, T.A., Lees, A.C., Parry, L., Peres, C.A. 2012. How pristine are tropical forests? An ecological perspective on the pre-Columbian human footprint in Amazonia and implications for contemporary conservation. Biological Conservation, 151: 45-49.
 
[11]  Mori, A.S., Spies, T.A., Sudmeier-Rieux, K. and Andrade, A. 2013. Reframing ecosystem management in the era of climate change: Issues and knowledge from forests. Biological Conservation, 165: 115-127.
 
[12]  Li J, Wang D, Yin H, Zhaxi D, Jiagong Z, Schaller GB, Mishra C, McCarthy TM, Wang H, Wu L, Xiao L, Basang L, Zhang Y, Zhou Y, Lu Z. 2014. Role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation. Conservation Biology, 28 (1): 87-94.
 
[13]  Liu, H., Xu, Z.F. and Wang, J.X. 2002. Practice of conserving plant diversity through traditional beliefs: A case study in Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Biodiversity and Conservation, 11: 705-713.
 
[14]  Sponsel, L.E. 2012. Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution, ABC-CLIO Publication, 284 pages.
 
[15]  Jusoff, K and Siti, A.A.S. 2011. Environmental Sustainability: What Islam Propagates? World Applied Sciences Journal, 12: 46-53.
 
[16]  Katz, K. 2003. Legitimizing Jordan as the Holy Land: Papal Pilgrimages -- 1964, 2000. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 23 (1): 181-189.
 
[17]  Weiss, J. 2013. Pope Francis Calls for Amazon Conservation. World Wildlife Fund Washington, DC. http://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/pope-francis-calls-for-amazon-conservation.
 
[18]  Horster, M. 2011. Religious Landscape and Sacred Ground: Relationships between Space and Cult in the Greek World. Revue de l'histoire des religions, 4: 435-458.
 
[19]  Hughes, J.D. 1990. Pan’s Travel: Environmental Problems of the Ancient Greek and Romans. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
 
[20]  Vest, J.H.C. 1985. Will of the Land: Wilderness among Primal Indo-Europeans. Environmental Review, 9 (4): 323-329.
 
[21]  Woff, R. 2003. A Pocket Dictionary of Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses. The British Museum Press, London. 48 pp.
 
[22]  Earhart, H.B. 1989. Mount Fuji and Shugendo. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 16: 205-226.
 
[23]  Blake, K. 2008. Imagining heaven and earth at Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado. Journal of Cultural Geography, 25 (1): 1-30.
 
[24]  Harahsheh, S., Morgan, M., & Edwards, J. 2007. The influence of religious belief on destination image: The case of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. International Journal of Management Cases, 9 (3-4): 63-73.
 
[25]  Harbison, P. 1992. Pilgrimage in Ireland: the monuments and the people. Syracuse University Press.
 
[26]  Lane, B. C. 2001. Giving voice to place: Three models for understanding American sacred space. Religion & American Culture, 11 (1): 53-81.
 
[27]  Sundstrom, L. 1997. The Sacred Black Hills: An Ethnohistorical Review. Great Plains Quarterly, 17 (3/4): 85-212.
 
[28]  Knight, C. 2009. Between the Profane World and the Spirit World: A Comparison of the Conceptualisation of Uplands and Mountains in Maori and Japanese Folklore. New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, 11(2): 96-114.
 
[29]  Shackley, M. 1998. A golden calf in sacred space?: The future of St Katherine's monastery, Mount Sinai (Egypt). International Journal of Heritage Studies, 4(3-4): 124-134.
 
[30]  Kala, C.P. 2014. Deluge, disaster and development in Uttarakhand Himalayan region of India: Challenges and lessons for disaster management. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 8: 143-152.
 
[31]  Armour, P. G. 2006. Counting boulders and measuring mountains. Communications of the ACM, 49 (1): 17-20.
 
[32]  Anderson, D.M., Salick, J., Moseley, R.K., Xiaokun, O. 2005. Conserving the Sacred Medicine Mountains: A Vegetation Analysis of Tibetan Sacred Sites in Northwest Yunnan. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14 (13): 3065-3091.
 
[33]  Salick, J., Amend, A., Anderson, D., Hoffmeister, K., Gunn, B., and Zhendong, F. 2007. Tibetan sacred sites conserve old growth trees and cover in the eastern Himalayas. Biodiversity and Conservation, 16 (3): 693-706.
 
[34]  Allan, J.D. and Flecker, A.S. 1993. Biodiversity conservation Running Waters: Identifying the major factors that threaten destruction of riverine species and ecosystems. BioScience, 43 (1): 32-43.
 
[35]  Yardenit 2015. The Jordan River. Yardenit - Kibbutz Kinneret Jordan Valley, Israel. https://www.yardenit.com/baptism/jordan-river.
 
[36]  Belhassen, Y., Caton, K. and Stewart, W.P. 2008. The search for authenticity in the pilgrim experience. Annals of Tourism Research, 35 (3): 668-689.
 
[37]  Becker, N., Helgeson, J. and Katz, D. 2014. Once there was a river: a benefit–cost analysis of rehabilitation of the Jordan River. Regional Environmental Change, 14 (4): 1303-1314.
 
[38]  Gadgil, M. and Vartak, V.D. 1976. Sacred groves of Western Ghats of India. Ecological Botany, 30: 152-160.
 
[39]  Khan, M.L., Khumbongmayum, A.D. and Tripathi, R.S. 2008. The sacred groves and their significance in conserving biodiversity: An overview. International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 34 (3): 277-291.
 
[40]  Kala, C.P. 2015. Revitalizing sacred groves. Down to Earth. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/revitalising-sacred-groves.
 
[41]  Tokarev, S. 1989. History of Religion. Progress Publishers, Moscow.
 
[42]  Hughes, J.D. and Swan, J. 1986. How much of the earth is sacred space? Environmental Review, 10 (4): 247-269.
 
[43]  Gowda, B. 2006. Sacred Plants. Kalpataru Research Academy, Bangalore.
 
[44]  Balzer, M.M. 1999. The Tenacity of Ethnicity: A Siberian Saga in Global Perspective. The Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
 
[45]  Gadgil, M., Berkes, F. and Folke, C. 1993. Indigenous Knowledge for Biodiversity Conservation. A Journal of the Human Environment, 22: 151-156.
 
[46]  Malhotra, K.C., Ghokhale, Y., Chatterjee, S. and Srivastava, S. 2001. Cultural and Ecological Dimensions of Sacred Groves in India. INSA, New Delhi.
 
[47]  Ramachandran, B. 1999. Significance of Kavu—A Note on the Sacred Grove of Kerala in Eco-Cultural Context. Journal of Human Ecology, 10 (4): 285-288.
 
[48]  Joshi, P. and Shrivastava, Y. 2000. Drops of Nature Conservation —Sacred Grove. Journal of Human Ecology, 11 (5): 327-330.
 
[49]  Xaxa, V. 1991. Oraons: Religion, Custom and Environment. In: G. Sen, Ed., Indigenous Vision, Saga Publication, New Delhi, pp 101-109.
 
[50]  Chandran, M.D.S. and Hughes, J.D. 1997. The sacred groves of south India: Ecology, traditional communities and religious change. Social Compass, 44 (3): 413-427.
 
[51]  Kala, C.P. 2011. Traditional ecological knowledge, sacred groves and conservation of biodiversity in the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve of India. Journal of Environmental Protection, 2 (7): 967-973.
 
[52]  Trosper, R.L. 2007. Indigenous influence on forest management on the Menominee Indian Reservation. Forest Ecology and Management, 249: 134-139.
 
[53]  Byers, B.A., Cunliffe, R.N. and Hudak, A.T. 2001. Linking the Conservation of Culture and Nature: A Case Study of Sacred Forests in Zimbabwe. Human Ecology, 29 (2): 187-218.
 
[54]  Brandis, D. 1897. Indian Forestry. Oriental University Institute. Woking, UK, pp 2-16.
 
[55]  Mishra, M.K. 2009. Sacred worldview in tribal memory: sustaining nature through cultural actions. Language & Ecology, 2 (4): 1-7.
 
[56]  Bhagwat, S.A., Kushalappa, C.G., Williams, P.H. and Brown, N.D. 2005. The role of informal protected areas in maintaining biodiversity in the Western Ghats of India. Ecology and Society 10 (1): 8.
 
[57]  Gadgil, M. 1992. Conserving biodiversity as if people matter: a case study from India. Ambio 21: 266-270.
 
[58]  Das, S.S. 2005. Kabi sacred grove of North Sikkim. Current Science, 89 (3): 427-428.
 
[59]  Bhagwat, S.A., Dudley, N. and Harrop, S.R. 2011. Religious following in biodiversity hotspots: challenges and opportunities for conservation and development. Conservation Letters, 4: 234-240.
 
[60]  Kala, C.P. 2012. Traditional ecological knowledge and conservation of ethnobotanical species in the buffer zone of Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. 194 pp.
 
[61]  Kamla, R., Gallhofer, S. and Haslam, J. 2006. Islam, nature and accounting: Islamic principles and the notion of accounting for the environment. Accounting Forum, 30 (3): 245-265.
 
[62]  Kala, C.P. 2005. Current status of medicinal plants used by traditional Vaidyas in Uttaranchal state of India. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 3: 267-278.
 
[63]  Kala, C.P. 2006. Ethnobotany and ethnoconservation of Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 5 (4): 537-540.
 
[64]  Dafni, A., Levy, S., and Lev, E. 2005. The ethnobotany of Christ's Thorn Jujube (Ziziphus spina-christi) in Israel. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 1: 1-11.
 
[65]  Jain, S.K. and Kapoor, S. 2007. Divine botany-universal and useful but under explored traditions. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 6 (3): 534-539.
 
[66]  Kritikar, K.R. and Basu, B.D. 1984. Indian Medicinal Plants. Vol I-IV, Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun.
 
[67]  Kala, C.P., Farooquee, N.A. and Dhar, U. 2004. Prioritization of medicinal plants on the basis of available knowledge, existing practices and use value status in Uttaranchal, India. Biodiversity and Conservation, 13 (2): 453-469.
 
[68]  Jain, S.K. 1991. Dictionary of Indian Folk Medicine and Ethnobotany. Deep Publications, New Delhi, India.
 
[69]  Kala, C.P. 2010. Assessment of availability and patterns in collection of Timroo (Zanthoxylum armatum DC.): A case study of Uttarakhand Himalaya. Medicinal Plants, 2 (2): 91-96.
 
[70]  Lohidas, J., Pappa, V.R. and Simi, N. 2014. Role of holy plants in health care system of the people in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India. Plant Archives, 14 (1): 81-86.
 
[71]  Kala, C.P. 2012. Forgotten healers. Down to Earth, 21: 46-47.
 
[72]  Kala, M. and Sharma, A. 2010. Traditional Indian beliefs: a key towards sustainable living. The Environmentalist, 30 (1): 85-89.
 
[73]  Krishna, N. 2010. Sacred Animals of India. Penguin Books, New Delhi, India.
 
[74]  Kala, C.P. 2015. Nanda’s Neelkanth. Partridge Publishing, Bloomington, USA. 340 pp.
 
[75]  Wei-Tsu, L. 1948. On the cult of the four sacred animals in the neighbourhood of Peking. Folklore Studies, 7: 1-94.
 
[76]  Chambers, B. 2014. Religion and Conservation Do Mix. Inter Press Service News Agency. http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/03/religion-conservation-mix/.
 
[77]  Gambrill, A. (2011). From Practice to Policy to Practice: Connecting Faith and Conservation in Africa, International Resources Group for US AID Bureau for Africa. Washington, DC. http://www.rmportal.net/library/content/from-practice-to-policy-to-practice-connecting-faith-and-conservation-in-africa/.
 
[78]  Awoyemi, S.M., Gambrill, A., Ormsby, A. and Vyas, D. 2012. Global Efforts to Bridge Religion and Conservation: Are They Really Working? Topics in Conservation Biology, Povilitis, T. (ed.), InTech, Rijeka, Croatia. pp 97-110.
 
[79]  Hall, M., Grim, J. and Tucker, M.E. 2009. Need for religions to promote values of conservation. Nature, 462 (10): 720.
 
[80]  Sobrevila, C. 2008. The Role of Indigenous Peoples in Biodiversity Conservation: The Natural but Often Forgotten Partners. The International Bank for Reconstruction, Washington DC, USA. 84 pp.
 
[81]  Cincotta, R.P., Wisnewski, J. and Engelman, R. 2000. Human population in the biodiversity hotspots. Nature, 404 (6781): 990-992.
 
[82]  Turner, N.J., Ignace, M.B. and Ignace, R. 2000. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wisdom of Aboriginal Peoples in British Columbia. Ecological Applications, 10 (5): 1275-1287.
 
[83]  Berkes, F., Colding, J. And Folke, C. 2000. Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecological Applications, 10 (5): 1251-1262.
 
[84]  Cairns, M. 2015. Shifting Cultivation and Environmental Change: Indigenous People, Agriculture and Forest Conservation. Routledge, New York.
 
[85]  Ramakrishnan, P.S., Saxena, K.G., Rao, K.S. 2006. Shifting Agriculture and Sustainable Development of north-eastern India: Tradition in Transition. UNESCO and Oxford & IBH, 495 pp.
 
[86]  Ramakrishnan, P.S. 2007. Traditional forest knowledge and sustainable forestry: A north-east India perspective. Forest Ecology and Management, 249: 91-99.
 
[87]  Kala, C.P., Dollo, M., Farooquee, N.A. and Choudhury, D.C. 2008. Land-use management and wet-rice cultivation (Jebi Aji) by the Apatani people in Arunachal Pradesh, India Traditional knowledge and practices. Outlook on Agriculture, 37 (2): 125-129.
 
[88]  Shiva, V. 1992. Women's Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity Conservation. India International Centre Quarterly, 19 (1/2): 205-214.
 
[89]  Kala, C.P. 2005. Ethnomedicinal botany of the Apatani in the Eastern Himalayan region of India. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 1 (11): 1-12.
 
[90]  Kaul, M.K. 1997. Medicinal Plants of Kashmir and Ladakh. Indus Publishing Company, New Delhi, India.
 
[91]  Kala, C.P. 2002. Medicinal Plants of Indian Trans-Himalaya. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun, India.
 
[92]  Ghimire, S.K., McKey, D. and Aumeeruddy-Thomas, Y. 2004. Heterogeneity in ethnoecological knowledge and management of medicinal plants in the Himalayas of Nepal: Implications for conservation. Ecology and Society, 9 (3): 6.
 
[93]  Kala, C.P. 2005. Health traditions of Buddhist community and role of amchis in trans-Himalayan region of India. Current Science 89: 1331-1338.
 
[94]  Turner, N.J. and Loewen, D.C. 1998. The original “free trade”: exchange of botanical products and associated plant knowledge in northwestern North America. Anthropologica, 40 (1): 49-70.
 
[95]  Clement, C.R., Junqueira, A.B., 2010. Between a pristine myth and an impoverished future. Biotropica, 42: 534-536.
 
[96]  Dhyani, P.P. 1998. Badrivan programme at Badrinath Dham: An innovative model for restoration of degraded lands and biodiversity conservation. p. 387-405. In: GBPIHED, Research for Mountain Development: Some Initiatives and Accomplishments. Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital, India.
 
[97]  Bernbaum, E. 1996. Pilgrims plant a forest. People and the Planet, 5 (1): 11.
 
[98]  Saunders, C.D. 2003. The Emerging Field of Conservation Psychology. Human Ecology Review, 10 (2): 137-149.
 
[99]  Johann, E. 2007. Traditional forest management under the influence of science and industry: The story of the alpine cultural landscapes. Forest Ecology and Management, 249: 54-62.
 
[100]  Willis, K.J., Gillson, L., Brncic, T.M., 2004. How ‘‘virgin’’ is virgin rainforest? Science, 304: 402-403.