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Sacred places and spiritual beliefs can enhance biodiversity conservation: a case study from the north-eastern Bangladesh

Corresponding Author : Fahmida Sultana (

Authors : Fahmida Sultana , Swapan Kumar Sarker

Keywords : Biodiversity conservation, spiritual values, sacred places, endangered species, indigenous knowledge

Abstract :

Conservation of biological diversity is one of the most challenging issues in the present era. The role of religious beliefs in conserving biodiversity is well appreciated and religious institutions are often integrated into the conservation action plans. However, we still lack an explicit understanding of the efficacy of these religious institutions and different beliefs in conserving biodiversity. We collected vegetation and animal data from the sacred places of north-eastern Bangladesh. Key respondents survey was also carried out to understand the nature of spiritual beliefs and their link with conservation. We found that sacred places and spiritual beliefs together are playing a vital role in protecting several plants and animals species. We recorded a total of 2575 individuals of 104 plant species in the sacred places. Of these, 20 species were conserved for spiritual purposes because of their usage in religious festivals, thus receiving more protection. Besides, the present study also recorded a total of 44 faunal species. We concluded that the findings of this study may help decision-makers in designing pragmatic conservation actions by taking into account the value of sacred places and spiritual beliefs in protecting threatened and endangered species in human-dominated landscapes around the world

Published on December 31st, 2022 in Volume 32, Issue 1, Agriculture and Mineral Science