Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia Releases Thousands of Endangered Animals in Mangrove Park

Working in collaboration with the eco-activism foundation Ecoton, the Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia (YBAI) recently conducted a large-scale life release operation to freeing thousands of aquatic animals in the Gunung Anyar Mangrove Botanical Garden in East Java. 


One of the organizers of the life release, conducted on 9 December, from the Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia, Herman Pranata, explained that the thousands of released animals included catfish, eels, monitor lizards, and crabs, which were purchased from various suppliers of supermarkets, markets and restaurants in the seaport of Surabaya and surrounding areas.


“This was done to help maintain biological ecosystems—especially in the largest mangrove area on the island of Java—and also to preserve the Buddhist fangsheng (Ch. 放生) tradition,” the YBAI shared with BDG. “We collaborated with a number of organizations, ranging from the Gusdurian Network, Samanera and Atthasilani from Padepokan Dhammadipa Arama Batu, students from the Buddhist spiritual activity units of various universities in Surabaya, religious studies students, and monastics from various monasteries in Surabaya.”


The Young Buddhist Association (YBA) is the leading Buddhist youth organization in Indonesia. Through a deeply held conviction in the Buddha’s message of compassion, growth, and liberation, the association promotes a positive lifestyle among the young in order to cultivate a society founded on wisdom, compassion, and gratitude. The association is involved in establishing Buddhist organizations nationwide, propagating the study of the Dharma among young people, and providing leadership training. 


“Donations from 162 donors totaled: 96 kilograms of crabs; 86 kilograms of monitor lizards; 5 kilograms of Bivalvia molluscs; 470 kilograms of eels; 35 kilograms of cork fish; 27.5 kilograms of catfish; and two asiatic soft-shell turtles,” Pranata explained. “During the release, we joined Bhante Jayamedho Thera and Lama Kunzang to pray together, so that all the animals would be blessed because they have been matched with participants who had the noble intention to release them in a suitable ecosystem that has been validated by Ecoton.”

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