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Reviving an Islamic Approach for Environmental Conservation in Indonesia

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In this paper, the authors argue that while state-sponsored efforts to preserve Indonesia’s natural resources have been needed, their effectiveness has been limited due to the paucity of available arable land and the frequent conflicts conservation policies have generated among local populations. Rather than a top-down structural approach, they argue, what is needed is an innovative approach that includes education at the grassroots, which in Indonesia will combine Islamic principles of environmental protection with traditional methods of conservation. After a section presenting an Islamic theology of creation care and then highlighting some projects in the Muslim world, the spotlight is turned on Indonesia, where a number of initiatives involve the cooperation of religious leaders, eco-friendly pesantren (religious boarding schools), international NGOs, and government policy at the national and regional levels.

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