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.

Related Articles


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 February 1, 2015 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 February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Russian Pilot Recalls Successful Balloon Flight

Russian Pilot Recalls Successful Balloon Flight

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev landed a helium-filled balloon four miles offshore in Baja California Sur. (Feb. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Verizon Will Let Users Opt Out Of 'Supercookies'

Verizon Will Let Users Opt Out Of 'Supercookies'

Newsy (Jan. 31, 2015) Verizon says users can remove its ad targeting software from their phones completely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's "Great Firewall" Frustrates Internet Users

China's "Great Firewall" Frustrates Internet Users

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 31, 2015) The Chinese government moves to tighten regulations for virtual private network (VPN) services that are used to access websites and services normally blocked in China. That&apos;s affected many internet users in the country. Yiming Woo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Excuses, Excuses: Weirdest Reasons People Give For Tardiness

Excuses, Excuses: Weirdest Reasons People Give For Tardiness

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) CareerBuilder surveyed around 5,000 workers and human resources managers nationwide to compile a list of strange excuses employees used when tardy. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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