Buddhism and Ecology

Phnom Sosir Kep Province 26 December 2012 (32)

Image of Buddha at the main on top of the Sosir Hill shrine in Kep Province. Photo Al Rodas 2012.

The report of an European Union Delegation to Cambodia, says that ‘environmental and natural resources in Cambodia are threatened by short-sighted over-exploitation on an increasing and threatening scale. This reduces the Country’s overall natural capital, yet whilst great benefits flow to the few; equally great burdens fall on the many.’

Actually, there are thousands of pages on issues like this about Cambodia, mostly produced in English and French with some Khmer translations that few read or analyses. Most of those reports are true, of course, but they remain in archives and, in many occasions, are overlooked or despised by Cambodian leaders as arrogant meddling of Westerns. Continue reading

A Bokor moss to protect

Another hidden detail of a Mountain like Bokor is the moss. I took this picture at the Water Fall – of course, there are a lot mosses, since it is a natural water place. Mosses are unusual to most Cambodians, because they are in general low-land people, but highlanders – like me and Cambodians from provinces like Ratanakiri and Mondolkiri – know them very well. It is important to include them in the culture of ecological protection, because they are important for the mountain ecosystem and the generation of water.

Let us create a clean mentality

Last Thursday (02/10/2012) we visited Bokor Mountain and we felt really happy to see the development of the area. The classic tour brought us to the ancient Bokorville downtown – where is the casino under re-construction, the church, etc. Afterward we decided to see the waterfall. As you will see in the next post, there is not water this month – dry season – but there is all this garbage. How can we do to end this national situation? When we are going to understand that we should not let garbage everywhere? It gives a terrible impression. It is a problem that affects everybody. It comes not only from people with too low educational level, but even from those suppose to be educators, leaders or well-educated people. Too many people go to enjoy the sea, the waterfalls, the ancient temples and they do not find other place to let their own garbage than in the same place. I was amazed of the observations of two ‘teachers’ coming with us: ‘Don’t worry! Others will pick it’ and ‘it is the problem of the government.‘ It seems the mentality of everyone in Cambodia. You can see luxury cars going around – with these  arrogant drivers without driving culture of respect for others – throwing garbage through the windows of their black cars!!! Then, it seems there is not hope to end it. Please, everybody – authorities, NGOs, mass media, police, military, schools, university, bloggers, social networks users, expatriates… – let us do an authentic campaign to create a clean culture in Cambodia. It is not that others will pick it and clean or it is not the duty of the government, it is the duty of everybody living in this country. Establish fines for dirty visitors that let their garbage everywhere, teach children that we are responsible of the garbage we produce… do something please!!!! So pity to find the Borkor Mountain like this…

Hun Sen suspended mine project at Cardamom Mountains

The Cambodian primer minister Hun Sen suspended a big mine project of titanium to the happiness of several environmental observers like Mongabay site, Wildlife Alliance and The Phnom Penh Post newspaper that have campaigned in the defense of one of the virgin jungles of the country. The move of the primer minister was unexpected, said different resources that already lost hope in hold such project that was expected to produce incomes for 1.3 billion US dollars per year according to the promotions of the Cambodian Economic Group. However, observers questioned such conclusions of the economists and suggested that the project was not going to be so successful for the economy while destroying a vulnerable environment that is the house of several endemic species like the Siamese crocodile, the Indochina tiger, the Malaysian bear and the natural migration route of Asian elephants.

The Kandal Pythons wedding

Yesterday I attended a wedding in the Pich Ocean Center of Sihanoukville of a friend. At the same time, about 200 kilometers far from here, in Kandal Province, there was another interesting wedding that I would like to attend instead… though the wedding of my friend was quit good. The Kandal’s wedding got more cover in the media than my friend’s wedding, because the spouses were two precious Pythons. Well, in Europe, Japan, in the Americas, it is already common that cats and dogs go to a beauty saloon, get married and have funeral services, so in Cambodia it is with snakes. Continue reading