Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

Monks in Thailand have started a unique campaign to save threatened trees. At least 100 monks living in rural areas are trying to preserve the forests of the country. This is being done in the wake o some recent surveys, which have indicated that more than 70 per cent of Thailand's forest cover has been cut down by loggers in the past 30 years.

In some areas of northeastern and western parts of Thailand, monks have tied saffron robes around trees, which are due to be felled by loggers. This has been done as some Thai people believe that felling a tree with robes on it is a sin equivalent to killing a monk. "Due to this belief, the monks are hoping that the loggers might think twice before cutting down these trees," says Alan Lopez, a Buddhist scholar. Some monks also have begun teaching villagers about the importance of conservation. At Mae Paa Phai temple in the northern province of Chiang Mai, a community education centre has been set up. This has been done to help ethnic minority children study many topics, including the effects of deforestation.

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