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News | 12 October 2011
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ProFauna's Conservation and Animal Welfare Campaign Through Islamic Approaches

ProFauna Indonesia works tirelessly to educate the public about wildlife and forest conservation and also animal welfare. Located in a country with the largest Moslem followers in the world, ProFauna thinks that it is important to spread the conservation and animal welfare messages through Islamic approaches: educating scholars and clerics in Islamic boarding schools in East Java and lobbying through the Indonesian Ulema Council (locally known as Majelis Ulama Indonesia/MUI) in Bali.

ProFauna believes that educating the public about animal welfare through the Islamic approach is effective because most Indonesian Moslem followers tend to be loyal to their clerics (listen to and abide what the clerics order about the Islamic laws and orders). For this reason, ProFauna worked together with Pondok Pesantren Al Hikam (Al Hikam Islamic Boarding Schools/Academy) to hold a workshop for Islamic leaders and representatives from Islamic boarding schools (locally known as Pesantren) on the 22nd and 23rd May 2010. It was jointly organised by ProFauna Indonesia, Petungsewu Wildlife Education center/P-WEC (ProFauna's education center) and Al-Hikam, with the funding provided by the Animalia Foundation and the Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).

According to ProFauna's records following the workshop, participants have been motivated to spread the message of concerns of and compassion to animals to their students or followers as part of their Islamic teachings. Most of the participants teach the animal welfare issues in two ways: insert/integrate the animal welfare issues in the main subjects learned by the students in the Islamic boarding schools and in the main topic of a lecture or speech during Qoran recitation/ learnings in some gatherings and meetings. Apart from that, ProFauna holds regular visit to the Islamic boarding schools in East Java to teach about wildlife and forest conservation.

Hoping to achieve similar success in East Java, ProFauna also tries to spread the message of conservation and animal welfare through Islamic perspectives in Bali Island. Eventhough, the percentage of Islam in Bali is only about 6%, most of the domestic tourists are Moslem and they should know about the Islamic views of conservation and animal welfare too. On 24th and 25th September 2011, ProFauna's representative in Bali attended the regional meeting of the Indonesian Ulema Council of Bali. During the meeting, ProFauna lobbied the Islamic leaders to spread the Islamic views on conservation and animal welfare to the followers in Bali. They were very interested and asked ProFauna to work together in delivering the messages.

ProFauna plans to increase public awareness and educate them about conservation and animal welfare in Indonesia through any effective approach, including the religious one. Not only in the local and regional levels, ProFauna hopes that the work can also be effective in the national level.