Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 705–713

Practice of conserving plant diversity through traditional beliefs: a case study in Xishuangbanna, southwest China

  • Liu Hongmao
  • Xu Zaifu
  • Xu Youkai
  • Wang Jinxiu
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1015532230442

Cite this article as:
Hongmao, L., Zaifu, X., Youkai, X. et al. Biodiversity and Conservation (2002) 11: 705. doi:10.1023/A:1015532230442

Abstract

Developing various strategies for the global biodiversity conservation is important for today's critically degraded environment, and there is a growing recognition that the effective conservation of biodiversity will depend on the long-term participation and understanding of local communities. In order to establish the connection between traditional beliefs and the conservation of biodiversity, a case study was undertaken in Xishuangbanna, one of the richest areas in biodiversity in China. The Dai nationality, a dominant ethnic group in Xishuangbanna, has both Polytheistic and Buddhist beliefs, which have close relationships with plant diversity. This paper recommends the following approaches to conserve plant diversity by the application of traditional beliefs: (1) depending on the religious belief system, establishing an ‘Association of Religious Plant Conservation’ to organize local people to participate in the conservation by means of religious activities, to document the indigenous botanical knowledge and to train local people; (2) training local people to different levels to improve their capacity in conservation of plant diversity with science and religion working together; (3) demonstrating the conservation of plant diversity through the recovering of holy hill forests and plants in temple gardens.

Dai people holy hill forest plant diversity conservation temple garden traditional beliefs Xishuangbanna 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liu Hongmao
    • 1
  • Xu Zaifu
    • 1
  • Xu Youkai
    • 1
  • Wang Jinxiu
    • 1
  1. 1.Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenThe Chinese Academy of SciencesMenglun, Mengla, YunnanPeople's Republic of China

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