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Unformatted text preview: The Conservation Potential of Religion in Thailand 1. Secular approaches to biodiversity conservation in Thailand have been inadequate (e.g., "paper parks" and deforestation). 2. Might religious approaches help? Many Thai and others relate social and environmental problems to Westernization and the decline of traditional culture, religion, and morality. 3. While about 95% of the people of Thailand are Buddhist, popular religion is even richer and more complex, with elements of animism and Hinduism. 4. Animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism have the potential in principle to be more environmentally friendly, i.e., promote a more sustainable and greener society (e.g., sacred trees). 5. To develop an argument for the relevance of religion in biodiversity conservation, first consider the possibilities of the weakest case, a single sacred tree. 6. On the surface of it, a single tree may not appear to be of any significance for biodiversity conservation. However, if that tree is appreciated as part of a set of mutually reinforcing wider systems--- conservation....
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- Spring '11