Preface ForestEthics - ForestEthics

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Ethics in Forestry
the standard work
A. K. Saseendran
Trees hold a particular role in Germanic paganism and mythology, both as individuals and in groups better known as sacred groves. Ancient Roman historian and Philosopher Tacitus has described sacred groves in Germany as places worship. Even alter Christian religious faith has creeped into, trees continue to play a significant role in the folk beliefs of the German society. Reverence for individual trees among the German folk is a common theme, as trees and groves were associated with particular Gods. This can be seen as a continuation of the ancient tradition into modern times. In our country also, we can see that some other religious faiths and practices of worship are also helpful to keep the moral values and they encourage protection of trees based an such faiths. The Government of Kerala has also taken several steps to protect sacred groves.

Forest provide potent and vivid symbols of life, death, rebirth, social process and collective identity in German culture and many Germanic tribes equate humans with plant and trees. Early medical practices hold that a tree could remove or call back diseases as each and every tree is associated with forest spirits. Even today certain totemic elements found in wooden crucifixes, way side shrines, forest chapels and pilgrimage churches in Germany indicate relationship to tree worship. This religious impulse carries over into several Germen literature too.

Forest ethics is about moral values and norms on the relationship between human beings and forests. It studies what kind of moral values norms and principles are adopted in forestry. A major reason for the need of forest ethics is the growing complexity of the relationship between forests, people and the society. The number and intensity of conflicting demands for various forest based goods and services is growing and there is an urgent need to understand the roots such conflicts, often related to moral values.

This fundamental work on "Ethics in Forestry" written by Guido Harold Hangartner is a good companion to academic researchers in forestry and ethics. Several theories put forward by the author in this noteworthy text finds new possibilities in framing additions to our forest policy, management and practices. Empirical researchers are welcomed to find it out in detail for the well-being of the society by conserving our invaluable forests wealth.

© by Author of the work: Guido H. Hangartner.

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