During a study of Taiwan’s Indigenous Tayal people and their symbiotic relationship with the environment, a conflict between environmental justice and culture was identified. The conflict is driven by environmental laws developed to protect society and the environment. Although Indigenous people such as the Tayal are part of a larger society, they are a distinct people with their own culture, language, and laws that are protective of the people and environment. By simply following their culture, sustainable environmental practices, and protecting the environment, they violate the laws developed to protect all people. Every culture on the planet has cultural practices that probably violate an environmental law. Indigenous people are generally not included in the law-making process and their inclusion developing environmental law is essential to respect and protect a people’s culture and to manage the planet’s environmental resources in a responsible manner without reprisal.
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