Location

Portland State University

Start Date

7-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

7-5-2019 11:00 AM

Subjects

Nature conservation -- Religious aspects -- Christianity, Environmental ethics, Arusha (Tanzania), Creation -- Mythology

Abstract

In order for environmental conservation to be effective among citizens, it must have a method of relating to their everyday values. Developing countries account for the majority of bio-diversity hotspot areas and thus are important to maintain sustainable development. Due to most of these countries following an organized religion, predominantly Christian, an alternative method of conservation may be successful to motivate citizens to participate in conservation efforts. In order for this method to be successful, members of the congregation must agree that there is a religious obligation to care for the environment. For Christianity this obligation is discussed by the creation story in the bible. This paper will use the town of Karatu, Tanzania as a case study of how successful Christianity can be translated to environmental conservation. Data was collected using surveys (n= 155), distributed to members of various churches, and evaluated their interpretation of the creation story as well as their church’s involvement in conservation. Additional interviews were used to gain important information about the implementation of conservation by churches and the local government. The results of this study showed that a majority of people who attended church, also believed that God commands humans to care for the environment. While churches participated in small acts of protection, mostly planting trees in their homes and common areas, they can be more beneficial as a method of gathering people and spreading education on conservation. Pastors’ opinions and enthusiasm to participate is very important for the church to be successful in conservation. Local government and conservation organizations should maintain positive relationships with church leaders in order to pass along accurate and updated information to the churches.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/28663

Included in

Geography Commons

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May 7th, 9:00 AM May 7th, 11:00 AM

Restoring Eden: The Role of Christianity on Environmental Conservation, A Case of Karatu District, Arusha, Tanzania

Portland State University

In order for environmental conservation to be effective among citizens, it must have a method of relating to their everyday values. Developing countries account for the majority of bio-diversity hotspot areas and thus are important to maintain sustainable development. Due to most of these countries following an organized religion, predominantly Christian, an alternative method of conservation may be successful to motivate citizens to participate in conservation efforts. In order for this method to be successful, members of the congregation must agree that there is a religious obligation to care for the environment. For Christianity this obligation is discussed by the creation story in the bible. This paper will use the town of Karatu, Tanzania as a case study of how successful Christianity can be translated to environmental conservation. Data was collected using surveys (n= 155), distributed to members of various churches, and evaluated their interpretation of the creation story as well as their church’s involvement in conservation. Additional interviews were used to gain important information about the implementation of conservation by churches and the local government. The results of this study showed that a majority of people who attended church, also believed that God commands humans to care for the environment. While churches participated in small acts of protection, mostly planting trees in their homes and common areas, they can be more beneficial as a method of gathering people and spreading education on conservation. Pastors’ opinions and enthusiasm to participate is very important for the church to be successful in conservation. Local government and conservation organizations should maintain positive relationships with church leaders in order to pass along accurate and updated information to the churches.