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Sacred and/or Secular Approaches to Biodiversity Conservation in Thailand

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image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Western approaches to biodiversity are starting to recognise the relevance of local environmental knowledge and community forests, but mostly ignore the conservation potential of sacred places because of their culture bound modernism and scientism. We argue that sacred places are in effect an ancient and widespread system of community based and religiously sanctioned protected areas that promote biodiversity conservation. We also compare the advantages and disadvantages of government and community based protected areas, and consider them to be complementary.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA; 2: Philosophy Chaminade University Honolulu, Hawaii 96816 USA; 3: Biology Section Prince of Songkla University Pattani 94000, Thailand


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