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Sacred groves: potential for biodiversity management

Bhagwat, Shonil A. and Rutte, Claudia (2006). Sacred groves: potential for biodiversity management. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 4(10) pp. 519–524.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:[519:SGPFBM]2.0.CO;2
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Existing global protected area networks have two shortcomings: they do not cover certain habitats, and local people often resent their formal management. Here, we show that communities around the world traditionally protect natural sites that are dedicated to ancestral spirits or deities. Such sites cover a wide variety of habitats and are often located in biodiversity rich regions. Case studies on sacred groves show that these small forest patches play an important role in biodiversity conservation. Furthermore, natural sacred sites are maintained through traditional methods of community based conservation that do not require governmental involvement. Incorporating these sites into conservation networks could enhance the effectiveness of protected areas by covering a wider variety of habitats and by harnessing the support of local people. In this article, we discuss current threats to sacred groves that need to be addressed through management approaches. More research on the ecology and underlying socioeconomic mechanisms of natural sacred sites is required to fully reveal their potential for biodiversity conservation.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2006 The Ecological Society of America
ISSN: 1540-9295
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 37025
Depositing User: Shonil Bhagwat
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2013 08:07
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2020 18:52
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