Religions of the World and Ecology home


Anil Agarwal is the founder and director of the Centre for Science and Environment, a leading environmental public interest research institution in India with a deep interest in participatory natural resource management and pollution-related issues. The centre regularly publishes the Citizensí Reports on the State of India's Environment. Anil Agarwal has a deep interest in the material culture of India, especially as it relates to natural resource management.

 

Abstract of paper given at Hinduism and Ecology conference:
Can Hindu Beliefs and Values Help India Meet its Ecological Crisis?

India is facing a serious social and ecological crisis. The devastation of the natural resource base has increaed poverty and increasingly constitutes a serious threat to public health. The Hindu beliefs, values and practices, built on a 'utilitarian conservationism' rather than a 'protectionist conservationsism,' can play an important role in restoring a balance between environmental conservation and economic growth. In a democratic society, unless the public demands such a balance, it is unlikely that its elected leaders will try to develop such a balance. But there are constraints that civil society faces in using religion to promote causes and concerns in a secular society.

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Hinduism and Ecology conference participants