Community empowerment by mobilizing traditional governance to protect sacred groves in Ghana.

A meeting to discuss research and protocols for safeguarding the sacred groves of Tanchara Community in north west Ghana. The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development in Ghana has been supporting long term community research which has resulted into a community protocol. The process that required the community to establish agreements and work with several external NGO's - such as the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative - and resulted in a moratorium on gold mining and a conservation plan for their sacred groves. Source: Daniel Banuoku Faalubelange.
Sacred groves are important for biodiversity conservation but this is not the only important function of the Groves in Ghana’s Upper West region. The groves provide medicinal plants and also house the communities’ ancestral spirits which are essential to the communities’ spiritual well-being. The groves protect the spirits who subsequently protect and guide the people […]

The loss of cultural knowledge and the threat that brings to the sacred lands on Coron Island, Philipines

Entrance to kayangan Lake, sacred to the Calamian Tagbanwa
Coron Island is an archipelago full of coral reefs, brackish lagoons, mangroves, limestone forests and flourishing biodiversity.  There are ten lakes in the area considered sacred by the Calamian Tagbanwa, called Panyaan’s. The lakes are also officially recognised by the state as indigenous ancestral territories.  In the face of increasing development pressures such as mining […]

Conservation experience: Mapping Winti practices and sacred groves for protection of the forests of Suriname.

Sacred ceiba pentandra
During the era of the slave trade Winti religion travelled with the African people to Suriname where they established a new connection to the land and their ancestors. Today, their descendants still use many medicinal and spiritual herbs from the groves for their sacred rituals and healing ceremonies.   The Winti belief emphasizes protection of […]

Conservation experience: Invite the gods and goddesses for protection, Juju Island, South Korea

Near the Gureombi village on the South-Korean island of Jeju, Shamans pray to the ocean for abundance and prosperity. They perform the Chogamje ceremony where they invite the 18.000 Gods and Goddesses from the ocean into the sacred place. Before the gods enter the site it must first be purified. For thousands of years these […]

Conservation experience: Monks on Mount Athos, Greece

Emperor Basil I of Byzantine bestowed the monks with the sole right of entrance to the Mount Athos peninsula in 885 A.D. They have built a flourishing religious community and maintained and protected the ecosystem ever since. Their management predominantly consists of controlling entrance and regulating timber practices. The peninsula is officially recognized as a […]

Conservation Experience: Community crocodile conservation in the Niger Delta, Nigeria.

crocodile banner
In the Niger delta, the Biseni and Osiami people live together in harmony with local crocodiles. The lakes were the crocodiles live lakes are considered sacred and the crocodiles are seen as brothers to the Bisini and Osiami. Whenever a crocodile dies it gets a funeral just like a human being. This co-existence is threatened […]