Indonesian religious leaders issue 'fatwa' against killing endangered species

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Here's a first for Indonesia, a country of around 240 million people with big environmental issues. The Ulema council, a group of religious scholars and leaders, has declared a 'fatwa' (opinion on muslim law) against the killing of endangered species. It declares that illegal hunting and wildlife trading is “unethical, immoral and sinful”.

“All activities resulting in wildlife extinction without justifiable religious grounds or legal provisions are haram [forbidden]. These include illegal hunting and trading of endangered animals“, said Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh, secretary of the council’s commission on fatwas.

Not that anything other than secular morals and logic were required to know that protecting threatened species is a good idea, but this can't hurt, especially in a relatively religious country.

Wildlife News writes:

Farmers and plantation workers who would normally not have issue with killing endangered wildlife that impacts on their lives could soon prefer to take action that avoids killing animals encroaching onto their farms and plantations. The order from the muslim council could also result in local fishermen taking more care to protect endangered marine animals such as turtles and sharks.

While orders issued by the muslim council has no legal standing in Indonesia the order does impact on the lives of many devout muslims who live in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Islamic country.

The Fatwa also calls on the Indonesian government to take action to protect endangered wildlife and combat the illegal wildlife trade. That's another way that it could have a positive impact.

As you can see above and below, deforestation is a huge problem in Indonesia, which in turns puts a lot of pressure on many endangered species.

deforestation indonesia chart

Via Wildlife News

See also: All of Earth's land mammals by total weight in one graph (notice wild vs. livestock)

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