Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
6Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Importance of social-ecological system in biodiversity conservation: a reflection from disappearing sacred natural sites of Nepal

Importance of social-ecological system in biodiversity conservation: a reflection from disappearing sacred natural sites of Nepal

Ratings: (0)|Views: 2,382 |Likes:
Published by Parbakhar
Today, loss of biodiversity through disappearing sacred natural sites has become a global concern. Despite of high socio-cultural, religious and ecological significance, sacred natural sites have been facing a huge human pressure even raising the question on their future existence. The different causes for the loss of these traditionally managed sacred natural sites in Nepal are analyzed and possible approach to overcome this problem is discussed here. The traditional/indigenous and local knowledge is very dynamic and reflects societal and ecosystem changes in values, beliefs and biophysical factors. People’s attitudes towards conservation and action have been changed with these changes. People’s faith on aboriginal taboos based on religious, social, cultural and spiritual faith is being lost and the ‘social fence’ of traditional conservation practices is weakening in Nepal. The complicated resource structure, and different ownerships and management pattern of sacred natural sites made it more vulnerable to risk by these changing conservation attitudes of custodians. The incompatibility of two conservation attitudes, traditional which is based on socio-cultural, religious and spiritual belief and scientific approach based on ecological value, are identified as the main cause for disappearing sacred natural sites including some other reasons. Integration of these two conservation approaches in social ecological system is recommended as best governance approaches to revive these disappearing sacred natural sites.
Today, loss of biodiversity through disappearing sacred natural sites has become a global concern. Despite of high socio-cultural, religious and ecological significance, sacred natural sites have been facing a huge human pressure even raising the question on their future existence. The different causes for the loss of these traditionally managed sacred natural sites in Nepal are analyzed and possible approach to overcome this problem is discussed here. The traditional/indigenous and local knowledge is very dynamic and reflects societal and ecosystem changes in values, beliefs and biophysical factors. People’s attitudes towards conservation and action have been changed with these changes. People’s faith on aboriginal taboos based on religious, social, cultural and spiritual faith is being lost and the ‘social fence’ of traditional conservation practices is weakening in Nepal. The complicated resource structure, and different ownerships and management pattern of sacred natural sites made it more vulnerable to risk by these changing conservation attitudes of custodians. The incompatibility of two conservation attitudes, traditional which is based on socio-cultural, religious and spiritual belief and scientific approach based on ecological value, are identified as the main cause for disappearing sacred natural sites including some other reasons. Integration of these two conservation approaches in social ecological system is recommended as best governance approaches to revive these disappearing sacred natural sites.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Parbakhar on Mar 20, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

11/22/2012

pdf

 
Importance of social-ecological system in biodiversity conservation: a reflection fromdisappearing sacred natural sites of Nepal
Parbakhar Poudel
Abstract:
Today, loss of biodiversity through disappearing sacred natural sites has become a globalconcern. Despite of high socio-cultural, religious and ecological significance, sacred naturalsites have been facing a huge human pressure even raising the question on their futureexistence. The different causes for the loss of these traditionally managed sacred natural sitesin Nepal are analyzed and possible approach to overcome this problem is discussed here. Thetraditional/indigenous and local knowledge is very dynamic and reflects societal andecosystem changes in values, beliefs and biophysical factors. People’s attitudes towardsconservation and action have been changed with these changes. People’s faith on aboriginaltaboos based on religious, social, cultural and spiritual faith is being lost and the ‘social fence’of traditional conservation practices is weakening in Nepal. The complicated resourcestructure, and different ownerships and management pattern of sacred natural sites made itmore vulnerable to risk by these changing conservation attitudes of custodians. Theincompatibility of two conservation attitudes, traditional which is based on socio-cultural,religious and spiritual belief and scientific approach based on ecological value, are identifiedas the main cause for disappearing sacred natural sites including some other reasons.Integration of these two conservation approaches in social ecological system is recommendedas best governance approaches to revive these disappearing sacred natural sites.Key words:
 sacred natural sites, common, threat, social fence, social-ecological system
Background
Biodiversity contributes many aspects of human well-being. Human action often leads toirreversible loses in term of diversity of life on earth (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,2005). Rapid change in large-scale human and biophysical process is leading people’s actionto over exploitation of limited natural resources. It has been creating a serious problem onecological, economic, ethical and aesthetic importance of biodiversity.Most of the world´s biodiversity is not in protected areas but on lands used by people (Berke,2009).Therefore, biodiversity conservation requires an understanding of social systems andtheir interactions with ecological systems. People have been maintaining and protecting some
Page
1
of 
13
 
area as untouched on different conservation structures and management strategy. These protected areas neither contain any written conservation rule nor any formal governingstructure. However, they are harboring the valuable flora and fauna. Human domination onnature and command over its structure and function of ecosystems (Vitousek et al. 1997) oftenis overwhelming their capacity to provide ecosystem services critical to our survival (Kremen,2005). The traditional/indigenous and local knowledge is very dynamic and reflects societaland ecosystem changes in values, beliefs and biophysical factors. Through their philosophy,actions and influence, faiths can have a major impact on the way people view the protectionof nature. People’s activities in a changed context reshaped their conservation belief ontraditionally managed sites. This has put a critical threat on those conservation areas whichare being managed under a ‘social fence’ of religious, cultural and spiritual faith. Theunwritten socio-cultural taboos are being violated and the social fence is weakening. As aresult, thousand of such sites are already destroyed and the existing one has also been facingthe big pressure. This is more critical in case of sacred natural sites (SNSs) due to their complicated resource structures and different management and ownership patterns.This discussion paper has tried to find various cause and consequences of disappearing naturalsacred sites in Nepal. This discussion paper is an output of desk study solely based onsecondary literatures.
1. Introduction1.1 Sacred Natural Sites
Sacred natural sites (SNSs) are areas of land or water having special spiritual significance to people and communities (Cited Wild and McLeod, 2008). These SNSs can be the abode of deities, nature spirit and ancestors, burial land, or associated with the spiritual leaders (Wildand McLeod, 2008; Avasthe et al 2006), often known as fetish groves (Dorm-Adzobu,Ampadu-agyei & Veit 1991). These are remarkable places which link nature and culture,often determine local/regional/national cultural identity (Schaaf, 2007). Nepal is a multicultural and multi religious country with more than 100 ethnic groupsincluding 59 indigenous groups and 6 mainstream faiths (CBS, 2002) out of 11 larger faiths inthe world (Wild and McLeod, 2008). They all have their own way of respecting the nature.People from all ethnic identities have strong faith on god and they worship the nature.According to Hindu mythology there are 330 millions gods and goddess each of them relates
Page
2
of 
13
 
with certain flora and fauna. Conservation and caring of habitat of these flora and fauna perhaps evolved as sacred groves. Worshiping of sacred groves and trees; water body andanimals as ‘presiding deity’ (Avasthe et al 2006) is a representative example of how Hindurespect the nature. Often, they are considered to be the residence of a local deity, or contain anobject or body of water that houses the deity. Due to the spiritual values attributed to thesesites, restriction on access and use often apply (ibid).
1.2 Ecological Importance of Sacred Sites
Sacred sites not only possess cultural, social, religious and spiritual values but they also provide various ecosystem services; for instance serving as an important natural gene pool preserving the habitat for the local flora and fauna (Gadgil and Vartak, 1975, 76; Mgumiaand Oba 2003; Bhagawat et al 2005a; Bhagwat and Rutte, 2006; Bhattarai and Baral, 2008).They provide safe breeding places for many bird species (Basnet et al 2006). They can alsoact as refuges for many commercially threatened species. That is why sacred natural grovesare often given different names like ‘near-natural ecosystem’, ‘natural gene pool’, refuge for rare and endangered species’ mirroring its high ecological value.Protection of SNSs can be an effective means of biodiversity conservation, as it is embeddedlocal culture and belief system (Schaaf, 2007). History shows that biodiversity rich areas suchas scenic valleys and religious complexes were created in prehistoric times dating back totimes unknown to humankind (cited in MOFSC, 2008), Western Ghats of India, one biodiversity hot spot in the world is typical example of culture based conservation initiative(Gadgil, & Vartak, 1976).There are some well preserved forests in the name of ‘holy shrine’ in Nepal as well. They are being governed by traditional institutions under religious forest category of Forest Act 1993.Many sacred natural sites are located in community forest areas which are being managed byforestry user groups under the community forestry rules and regulation. There are 40 religiousforests in Kathmandu alone (NBAP, 2001). Acharya K. P. (2003) has listed 80 plant speciesused in socio-cultural festivals. The preservation of particular places as sacred natural sites isinitiated through the conservation of these particular sacred animal and plant species havingspecial religious and cultural significance (MOFSC, 2008).
1.3 Governance system
Page
3
of 
13

Activity (6)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Ashutosh Sarker liked this
mahmudul4 liked this
shcb liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->