Religious leaders focus on illegal wildlife trade
Asian and African leaders give input to campaign
Religious leaders from Asia and Africa gave statements to Britain's Duke of Edinburgh on Wednesday condemning the illegal wildlife trade.
The meeting was part of an initiative by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), WWF-US and faith leaders, largely focusing on lessening consumer demand in China and other Asian countries for medicines and luxury items made from rare or endangered species.
“This marks a new and potentially highly significant development in the struggle to preserve the great species of our planet … those creatures that most need the protection of God,” said Martin Palmer, secretary-general of the ARC.
The 34 leaders, representing Christians, Buddhists, Daoists, Hindus and Muslims in Asia and Africa, called on their followers to protect wildlife and fight against the trade of endangered species.
“The richness of this world is a gift and blessing from Allah. May we in turn be a blessing to all that Allah has made and given to our care,” said the statement from the Indonesian Council of Ulema.
Traditional Chinese medicine is “one of Daoism’s great gifts to the world,” said the statement from the China Taoist Association. “But when it endangers the natural world it is no longer in alignment with Daoism’s spiritual principles.”
The Duke was also briefed by faith groups on conservation initiatives at the meeting at Buckingham Palace with Martin Palmer.
The Duke is a founding member of the ARC and president-emeritus of the WWF.
Jains, whose religion is based on non-violence, are celebrating the 2,615th birth anniversary of Tirthankar Vardhaman Mahavir
Father Philip D'Rozario considers assisting people in distress as his foremost duty as priest
The UN gave Sri Lanka two more years to implement recommendations for lasting peace and human rights
Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam has promised to heal society's wounds but nine charged a day after she was selected
Duterte offers nomination alternative to choosing local leaders instead of holding elections