New Books and Videos -- Ethics, Religion, and Biodiversity: Relations between Conservation and Cultural Values Edited by Lawrence S. Hamilton

Article excerpt

Ethics, Religion, and Biodiversity: Relations Between Conservation and Cultural Values, edited be Lawrence S. Hamilton. the White Horse Press, 10 High St., Knapwell, Cambridge CB3 8NR, England (1993). 218 pp. Paperback, ISBN 1-874267-10-3 Approx. $22.50.

Dr. Lawrence Hamilton is emeritus professor of forestry at Cornell University and research associate at the East-West Center in Honolulu, where he directs a program of biological-diversity conservation in mountains and islands of Asia and the Pacific Hamilton once wrote that "It is not the ecologists, engineers, economists, or earth scientists who will save spaceship earth, but the poets, priests, artists, and philosophers."

That notion led to his organization of a small symposium at the XVII Pacific Science Congress in Hawaii in 1991. This book is one result.

Though a collection of symposium papers does not often make a readable book, this thoughtful volume is a rare exception. From the cover scene--animals two by two heading in Noah's Ark--and throughout this interesting collection of writings, the reader is challenged to reach beyond traditional Western cultural boundaries. We are reminded that many different cultural perspectives can make important contributions toward resolving global environmental problems.

Thirteen scholars from such diverse regions as New Guinea, Canada, Nepal, Micronesia, the United States, Jamaica, Thailand, and China offer theoretical contributions from a variety of secular and religious perspectives as well as valuable empirical studies of conservation practices in diverse settings worldwide. …