Daoist Ecological Temples Network
In 2006, the first Daoist ecological temple was created at Taibaishan in China's Shaanxi Province, by a partnership between the China Daoist Association, Shaanxi Province, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and the Ecological Management Foundation.
This humble beginning led to the much more ambitious Daoist Ecological Temples Network which was launched three years later at ARC's Faith Commitments celebration at Windsor Castle in 2009.
Daoist ceremony at the Daoist Ecological Temple, Taibaishan. Daoism has a history going back more than 2,000 years. Today it is estimated that 170 million people follow Daoism to some extent, mostly in China. Picture: ARC
Since then, it has since grown to more than 200 temples across China – and is still expanding. It held its first Daoist Ecological Temples meeting, entitled 'Heavenly Grottos, Lucid Waters and Lush Mountains', in September 2018 – described as by the China Daoist Association as 'the most successful Daoist event for 10 years'.
The Network provides ecological education, facilitates message dissemination on wildlife, mercy release and vegetarian fasting, organises youth camps and supports the adoption of ecological practices in Daoist temples across China.
Following the publication of the first Daoist Long-term Plan at the multi-faith meeting hosted by the Duke of Edinburgh in Windsor in 2009, the Daoists have drafted a second Plan; they have seen how stating a vision and creating a plan is very effective at bringing about positive environmental change.