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'White Men Shooting Rhinos in the Bum with a Dart'

September 17, 2013:

Biodiversity is a respected academic magazine for scientists and others concerned with the sustainable management of natural resources.

In a hard-hitting article published in the September 2013 edition of Biodiversity magazine Martin Palmer challenges the wider ecological community to recognise the global significance of faith groups in addressing environmental issues.

Quoting the former WWF official Ivan Hattingh the article criticises the vast majority of environmental group responses to the crisis of endangered species as "white men shooting rhinos in the bum with a dart!" This is in marked contrast to the strategy adopted by ARC and the Alliance's partners in addressing the problem by curbing demand for the body parts of endangered species.

Martin cites the Daoist authorities who have made it clear that no effective ingredient for Traditional Chinese Medicine can be obtained in a way that unbalances the natural world. Indeed, ingredients obtained from endangered species could actually make you worse, not better. This undermining of demand, linked to programmes in Asia and Africa that challenge the trade itself, represents a real opportunity to reduce illegal poaching and halt the decline in some of the world's most impressive species.

The article, entitled 'The Quiet Revolutionaries: why the faith-based environmental movement has become the largest civil society movement in the conservation world', identifies the enormous reach of religions worldwide and their influence on people's behaviour at both national and community level, with many examples of how faith groups are using this influence on behalf of the environment.

You can download a copy of the text of the article here.

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