This book presents a broad array of global case studies exploring the interaction between religion and the conservation of nature, from the viewpoints of the religious practitioners themselves.

With conservation and religion often being championed as allies in the quest for a sustainable world where humans and nature flourish, this book provides a much-needed compendium of detailed examples where religion and conservation science have been brought together. Case studies cover a variety of religions, faiths and practices, including traditional, Indigenous, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto and Zoroastrianism. Importantly, this volume gives voice to the religious practitioners and adherents themselves. Beyond an exercise in anthropology, ethnobiology and comparative religion, the book is an applied work, seeking the answer to how in a world of nearly eight billion people, we might help our own species to prevent the extinction of life.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of nature conservation, environment and religion, cultural geography and ethnobiology, as well as practitioners and professionals working in conservation.

part I|11 pages


chapter 1|9 pages


ByRadhika Borde, Alison A. Ormsby, Stephen M. Awoyemi, Andrew G. Gosler

part II|73 pages

Examples of Faith-Based Conservation from around the World

chapter 2|14 pages

Caring for the Land, Caring for the Dharma

The Environmental History of Buddhism at Pemayangtse Monastery, Sikkim, as a Resource for Contemporary Conservation Initiatives
ByKalzang Dorjee Bhutia

chapter 3|12 pages

Of the Wheel of Life and Guardian Deities

How Buddhism Shapes the Conservation Discourse in the Indian Trans-Himalayas
ByRadhika Kothari, Nisa Khatoon, Padma Dolker, Konchok Zangpo

chapter 4|16 pages

The Borgou and Its Spirits

Nature and the Traditional Faith Practice of the Baatɔnu People of West Africa
ByC. Ryan Smith

chapter 6|15 pages

The Conservation of Maleku People's Sacred Natural Sites in Costa Rica

ByDavid Solis-Aguilar, Leonel Elizondo, Alexander Elizondo

part III|86 pages

Examining Themes in Faith-Based Conservation

chapter 8|12 pages

Spiritual Values and Ecosystem Services of Sacred Groves in Karnataka, India

ByAlison A. Ormsby, Smitha Krishnan

chapter 9|15 pages

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Forests and Pollination Services across an Agricultural Landscape

ByAshley Massey Marks, Travis W. Reynolds, Sara Hamann, Alemayehu Wassie Eshete, Meg D. Lowman, Sandra Nogué, Kathy J. Willis, Shonil A. Bhagwat

chapter 10|13 pages

Cultivating Faith

Exploring the Role of Faith-Based Relationships in a Christian Conservation Agriculture Programme in the Dakatcha Woodland, Kenya
ByPeter Rowe, Stanley Baya

chapter 11|15 pages

Shinto Shrine Forests and Happiness in Japan

ByAshley Massey Marks, Ken Kitatani, Shonil A. Bhagwat

chapter 12|15 pages

Spiritual Leaders Build Common Ground

Enacting Worldviews through Legal Pluralism in the Face of Neoliberalism
ByBas Verschuuren, Felipe Gomez

part IV|85 pages

Broader Perspectives, Applications, and Challenges related to Faith-Based Conservation

chapter 14|15 pages

Praying in Brazilian Protected Areas

From Conflicts to Potential Alliances with Society for Nature Conservation
ByÉrika Fernandes-Pinto

chapter 15|14 pages

Faith in the West? Engaging Christian Groups in Conservation in ‘Secular Western Societies’

ByBrittany Ederer, Rachel Mander, Dave Bookless, Robert Sluka, Jeremy Lindsell

chapter 17|12 pages

Birds as Bridges between Religions and People

ByMark Coreth, Yossi Leshem, Alexandre Roulin

chapter 18|13 pages

Green Sabbaths

Putting the Anthropocene Era to Rest (Once a Week)
ByJonathan Schorsch

chapter 19|8 pages

Ecology and Religion Walk Hand in Hand to Conserve Greater Adjutants in India

ByAnant Deshwal, Purnima Devi Barman, Arvind Mishra

part V|41 pages

Last Glance

chapter 20|39 pages

Additional Snapshots of Faith-Based Conservation

ByRadhika Borde, Alison A. Ormsby, Stephen M. Awoyemi, Andrew G. Gosler

chapter 20a|3 pages

A Twist in Central Asian Snow Leopard Conservation

Restoring Ancient Ceremony in Support of Modern Conservation Methods
ByApela Colorado, Beth Duncan, Darla Hillard

chapter 20b|3 pages

Biocultural Importance of Sacred Groves in Kurdistan, Iran

ByZahed Shakeri

chapter 20c|3 pages

Faith-Based Environmental Action by Protestant Churches in Singapore

ByChua Ying Xuan

chapter 20d|4 pages

Guardians of the Heart of the World

Indigenous Cosmovision and Conservation of Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
ByAti Gunnawi Viviam Villafaña, Fiona Wilton

chapter 20e|3 pages

Tu Be'Shvat—The Jewish Festival of Trees

ByIdit Pintel-Ginsberg

chapter 20f|3 pages

Case Study of Forest of Grace in Mongolia

ByHang Ryeol Na

chapter 20g|3 pages

Jainism and Nature Conservation

ByNita Shah, Anant Deshwal

chapter 20h|3 pages

Faith and Science Directing a Rocha's Marine Conservation Work in Kenya

ByRobert D. Sluka

chapter 20i|2 pages

Faith in Conservation in Papua New Guinea

ByTweedy Malagian

chapter 20j|3 pages

Vultures, Grief, and Interspecies Rituals

ByWill Tuladhar-Douglas

chapter |8 pages


ByAndrew G. Gosler, Radhika Borde, Alison A. Ormsby, Stephen M. Awoyemi