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September 28, 2012
IUCN Approves Sacred Natural Sites Motion
Posted by: Toby McLeod

On September 12, delegates attending the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea, voted overwhelmingly to approve a motion aimed at strengthening protection for sacred places.

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August 10, 2011
Researchers Map World’s Sacred Forests
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

About 15 percent of the world’s surface, much of it forest, is “sacred land,” according to a team of Oxford University scientists working on a project to scientifically measure the coverage of religious and sacred land around the globe and assess its biodiversity and land-use values.

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July 15, 2010
Court Halts Construction at Phiphidi Waterfall
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

After a two-day court hearing, the traditional custodians of Phiphidi Waterfall last week won an injunction to halt the construction of a tourist resort at their sacred site for 20 days, allowing them to prepare for further legal action. The Ramunangi clan, in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, has been waging a years-long battle to protect [...]

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June 22, 2010
Bulldozers Move in on South African Sacred Site
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

As tourists flock to South Africa this month for the World Cup tournament, a tribe in the north of the country is urgently struggling to save a sacred site from being destroyed by tourism development.

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May 17, 2010
New Biodiversity Report is a “Wake-up Call for Humanity”
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

A major new assessment of the current state of biodiversity warns that unless urgent action is taken, the natural systems that support humankind are at risk of collapse.

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February 12, 2010
U.N. Issues First-Ever “State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” Report
Posted by: Marlo McKenzie

In January, the U.N. released its first-ever report on the “State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples,” which presents a global view of the current situation of indigenous peoples, examining poverty and well-being, culture, education, health, human rights, environment and emerging issues.

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December 2, 2009
Check Out Our Latest Sacred Site Report
Posted by: Amberly Polidor

The Ramunangi of northern South Africa — traditional custodians of Phiphidi Waterfall, a small cascade that is central to the clan’s relationship with ancestral spirits — have been engaged for decades in a struggle to protect their sacred site from tourism and infrastructure development. Subjugated during the country’s apartheid era to the power of larger, [...]

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April 4, 2009
Confrontation in Dorbo Meadow
Posted by: Toby McLeod

In October, six new brides paraded through a green meadow,  the tops of their heads covered with  a yellow headdress made of butter. A throng of women beat drums, sang and danced. The four-day Mascal ceremony in Ethiopia’s Gamo Highlands was drawing to a close as the rainy season gave way to planting, harvesting and [...]

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February 2, 2009
Ethiopia
Posted by: Marlo McKenzie
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Here we bring you a slideshow of  southern Ethiopia — in the sacred grove at Obo Wonsho and in the mountainous Chencha area of the Gamo Highlands north of Arba Minch — where we met with ethnic groups that continue to live according to their traditional animistic beliefs despite pressures from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church [...]

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February 1, 2009
Ethiopia — Cradle of Life
Posted by: Toby McLeod

The Rift Valley feels like it has forever been a home to humans. It’s hard to imagine all that’s gone down here between Lucy, our great great grandmother, 3 million years ago, and Haleka Malabo, a sacred site guardian in Ethiopia’s Gamo Highlands, today. Walking down a gentle hill into Dorbo Meadow on the first [...]

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August 29, 2008
Kenya’s Kaya Forests Awarded World Heritage Status
Posted by: Marlo McKenzie
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In 2008 the “Sacred Kaya Mijikenda Forests” was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The inscribed area includes 11 separate forest sites spread along 125 miles of coast, including the Giriama, Jibana, Kambe, Kauma, Ribe, Rabai, Duruma and Kinondo kayas. This designation will help to further strengthen protection for the kaya forests. UNESCO helps [...]

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