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Cambodian monks make eco-Buddhism video available to all

June 11 2008:

Cambodian monk discusses growing seedlings

The Association of Buddhists for the Environment (ABE) in Cambodia has issued its promotional film about Buddhist action on forestry. The film, viewable in four separate sections, can also be accessed from this web page - see the small screens below, and is also available on Youtube, searchable under community forestry.

Not only is it a good way to see some of the wonderful projects that ABE has been involved with, but it also embodies ABE's mission to use contemporary technology to preserve old ways of living in, and caring for, the natural environment.

ABE is a sister organisation to ARC, founded by us, the World Bank and the Buddhist community in Cambodia, in 2005. See below for a brief background to ABE and the Cambodian projects

The videos

PART ONE: with an introduction to the Buddhist sense of being interconnected.

PART TWO: including a description of the Oddar Mincheay monks restoring their ancient forest and a visit to KorngRey Mountain, accessible only by boat.

PART THREE: with key monks at KorngRey explaining the obstacles, including forest fires, and the conditions necessary for protecting the land.

PART FOUR: How the network has expanded from 6 to 30 pagodas, and the importance of surveying the forest. Plus a reflection of how Buddha was born in the forest, taught in the forest and received enlightenment in the forest.


ABE has been in existence since 2005, creating a network of monks from all of Cambodia's 23 provinces, all working to strengthen the Sangha (or community of Buddhist monks and nuns), in order to protect the environment.

It was founded in Phnom Penh with the presence of His Eminence of Sangaraja Bou Kry. It was, and continues to be, supported by ARC as the consultants of World Bank Asia Faiths/Forest Initiative, and for the outreach workshops and training it worked closely with the Cambodian conservation NGO, Mlup Baitong.

ABE is part of the Asian Buddhist Network, set up with the help of ARC and the World Bank, and run by monks for monks. It provides capacity building, training and advice for monks throughout the country.

Under its director, Venerable Hiek Sopheap it also produces films and educational material, runs tree nurseries and also is engaged in a programme to ordain trees, as monks are ordained, in order to protect them and the forest around them.

ARC continues to advise and support ABE on a scale appropriate to its success and independence, and it is for example on our recommendation that the film - which has been used to great effect in talks and conferences both in Cambodia and round the world - is now available to a wider audience.


Link here for details about the Cambodian Monk and Environment programme, including training and tree nurseries.

Link here for the first page of the ABE's brochure on caring for the environment through Buddhism.

Link here for the second page of the ABE's brochure on caring for the environment through Buddhism.

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