Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Religion and ecology among China's Blang people

Date:
September 22, 2011
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
Fieldwork conducted by two researchers could help develop culturally appropriate conservation efforts and environmental education programs in a remote mountainous area of southwest China where deforestation is a major environmental issue.

James Miller and An Jing in the Blang village in southwest China where they conducted their research.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queen's University

Fieldwork conducted by two Queen's researchers could help develop culturally appropriate conservation efforts and environmental education programs in a remote mountainous area of southwest China where deforestation is a major environmental issue.

James Miller, a professor in the School of Religion and the Cultural Studies program, and An Jing, a visiting research student in the School of Graduate Studies, found a distinct link between the strong religious culture of the indigenous Blang people and their region's economic and ecological development.

"Our research provides clear evidence of religion playing an influential role in managing the relationship between the Blang people and their local ecosystems," says. Dr. Miller. "Their religious life is not a matter of private belief or personal spirituality, but a cultural system that clearly intersects with ecological and economic systems."

Previously subsistence farmers, Blang villagers have now turned almost exclusively to producing tea leaves, which when processed becomes a highly valuable finished product. Since China began its economic and landholding reforms in the 1980s, the villagers have been steadily converting their lands to the production of tea, with tea bushes now dominating the steeply-terraced mountainsides.

Interestingly, the researchers observed that recent economic development from tea production in the village is contributing to a resurgence of religion, new temple construction and lavish religious activities. But while the economy is benefiting, deforestation is impacting biodiversity preservation and water management in the local area.

However, during a three-month annual Buddhist festival that marks the beginning of the rainy season, there is a prohibition on cutting down large trees. While in traditional times the trees might have been cut down for building houses, these days they are cut down to increase the land available for tea production. Observance of the tree-cutting injunction has a positive effect on the local ecology by slowing the tree removal. It also demonstrates how indigenous religion and culture can be an ally in promoting conservation efforts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Religion and ecology among China's Blang people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920120236.htm>.
Queen's University. (2011, September 22). Religion and ecology among China's Blang people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920120236.htm
Queen's University. "Religion and ecology among China's Blang people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920120236.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 28, 2014) Attackers stole checking and savings account information and lots of other data from JPMorgan Chase, according to the New York Times. Other banks are believed to be victims as well. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins