Fengshui Forests as A Socio-natural Reservoir in the Face of Climate Change and Environmental Transformation

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Chinese lineage villages are social-ecological systems (SESs) designed according to principles of fengshui (“wind-water”). Fengshui is a composite of cosmological beliefs and landscape management strategies, including the protection of sacred groves, aimed at optimizing the collective, long-term wellbeing of lineage groups by enhancing long-term natural and social resilience. Along with other adaptive management features, village fengshui forests promote social-ecological vigor by conserving plant, soil, and water resources, enhancing social memory, and serving as living models of resilience in the face of social, economic, and political changes. Modern programs to transform rural communities through state-led agricultural production systems included bans on fengshui practice and the destruction of forests. Many communities protected their fengshui forests, providing contemporary opportunities for local, regional, national, and international conservation initiatives incorporating locally preserved forests.

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Asia Pacific Perspectives