Buddhist monks in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
© CI/Photo by Haroldo Castro
Religion and Conservation
In June 2007, CI began working with the Association for Buddhists for the Environment (ABE) to strengthen Buddhist efforts to protect the environment. The main goal of ABE is to promote a cleaner and healthier environment in order to conserve natural resources. Buddhism reinforces CI’s conservation goals – natural harmony, balance and environment are key concepts of the religion.
This is important as there is a pagoda in every Cambodian village. CI and ABE worked in the communes in the CCPF to train monks as environmental educators and to increase community education efforts.
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These outreach activities included tree ordination ceremonies, peace walks, teachings on ‘greening the pagoda’, tree planting ceremonies and other environmental education and improvement projects.
The project staff reported that the communities seemed more open to CI’s messages and willing to participate in conservation efforts since the ABE activities began.
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