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Jakarta Post

Religion holds key to conservation

  • Trisha Sertori

    Contributor

Nusa Penida, Bali   /   Thu, July 21 2011   /  08:00 am

A major key in the Friends of the National Parks Foundation’s Bali Starling and Nusa Penida bird sanctuary success is its decision to work with the Hindu concept of Tri Hita Kerena — the acknowledgement of the intrinsic unity between God, the natural world and mankind’s place in that world.

Prior to all bird releases on Nusa Penida, 14 kilometers southeast of Bali, prayers to the Hindu gods are made to protect the birds and recognize their right to safety and protection.

With Sunday’s release of 100 Java Sparrows verging on extinction in their home range of Bali and Java, hundreds of Penida villagers and off-island guests joined together at the local temple to pray for the birds’ safe release.

There was silence across the sun-drenched inner sanctum of the temple as communal prayers were offered; breaking this silence just the tinkle of the priest’s bell a...