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Mlup Baitong Buddhism and Environment Program


Abstract

Mlup Baitong is a non-governmental (NGO) environmental organization in Cambodia seeking to conserve natural resources and foster sustainable development. Mlup Baitong promotes environmental awareness and community-based natural resource management through environmental education, training, and advocacy. Through its Buddhism Environment Program, Mlup Baitong has established a network of several hundred monks and fifteen pagodas in the Cambodian provinces of Kompong Speu and Kompong Thom. Rooted in a Buddhist environmental ethic, this program is designed to promote environmental awareness and ecological practices at the grassroots level by providing monks with training in Buddhism and Ecology and by supporting conservation and sustainability initiatives at pagodas. Such initiatives include seedling germination, tree planting, and water and wood management. The Buddhism Environment Program is one of many programs offered by Mlup Baitong. Others include: Women and Environment Program, School Environmental Education Program, National Park Assistance Program, Community Forestry Program, Community-based Ecotourism Program, Radio and Environmental Advocacy Program, and Environmental Education Resource Center Program. Mlup Baitong programs are run by its twenty-five local staff members and numerous volunteers.

Religion

Buddhism

Geographic Location

Cambodia
Duration of Project 1998–Present
History

In the face of widespread and rapid deforestation in Cambodia, Mlup Baitong was established to promote environmental awareness and education at the grassroots level. It received its NGO status in 1998. Since its founding, Mlup Baitong has grown to address a variety of environmental issues, including wildlife conservation and habitat protection, environmental education curriculums, and community-based natural resource management. In Cambodia, the pagoda is the physical and spiritual center of most rural villages and the Buddhist philosophy supports the conservation of resources and the idea of living in harmony with nature. The Buddhism and Environment Program developed as a result of links with a pagoda in Kompong Thom that was playing an active role in outreach to the local community. The Head monk of this pagoda, Venerable Ly Kom, was responsible for germinating and providing hundreds of tree seedlings to local villagers each year in order to improve their livelihood. Mlup Baitong started by supporting this pagoda and helping Venerable Ly Kom share his ideas with monks in other areas. This was the beginning of the Buddhism and Environment network.

Mission Statement "Mlup Baitong seeks to increase conservation and environmental awareness through education, training, advocacy, and other environmental services to support the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources for the benefit of Cambodia."
Partner Organizations Alliance for Religions and Conservation (UK)
Oxfam Great Britain
IUCN-Netherlands
Government of Finland
Long-Term Goals None Listed
Bibliography: None Listed
Additional Research Resources None Listed
Contact Information Mlup Baitong
P.O. Box 2510
Phnom Penh 3
Cambodia
Ph:       ++855.23.214.409
Fax:      ++855.23.220.243
Email:  (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)