A preview of the PDF is not available
Why Conservation Needs Religion
Conservationists have been criticized for failing to protect nature in the face of mounting threats including overexploitation, species loss, habitat destruction, and climate change. Resource managers and scientists have yet to fully engage a major segment of the global population in their outreach efforts to protect the environment: religious communities. The world's religions have been recognized as a surprising driver of support for conservation of biological diversity, and numerous examples demonstrate religious and conservation groups working together to achieve conservation outcomes. However, many conservation organizations do not effectively engage religious groups. When conservation organizations do engage religious groups, efforts to do so are often ad hoc and such partnerships may wane over time. A more systematic approach is needed that directly engages religious communities, develops effective partnerships, supports and sustains dialogue aimed at finding common ground despite potentially divergent worldviews, and establishes supporting mechanisms to maintain the partnerships that are developed. Effective partnerships between religious and conservation groups represent significant untapped potential which can directly support conservation outcomes; such partnerships are likely to become increasingly important with dwindling support for conservation.