Imagine a lake as vast as the sea and as deep as a canyon, endowed with an abundance of unique flora and fauna. This is Russia’s Lake Baikal — the world’s oldest and deepest lake — situated in southeast Siberia, near the border with Mongolia.
The “spiny forests” of southern Madagascar are like no other forests on Earth: unique desert-adapted plants like the prickly stalked didierea form a dense thicket of flora that curls around the perimeter of this island off the southeast coast of Africa.
Klabona, the Sacred Headwaters of the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass rivers, is an area of unparalleled cultural importance in northwest British Columbia.
The historic pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain—known as the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James—is the oldest and longest living pilgrimage route in Europe.
On Oct. 9, 2006, a baby born in Vallican, British Columbia, an ancient village and burial ground of the Sinixt Nation, made tribal history. Agnice Sophia Campbell was the first Sinixt (pronounced sin-eyekst) descendant born in traditional tribal territory in nearly 100 years.
The Sheka Forest in southwest Ethiopia, known as the last indigenous forest in Ethiopia, has long been a source of livelihoods and spiritual practices for local communities.
Tens of centuries ago, amid Ireland’s iconic green, rolling landscape, the kings of Ireland were anointed on a hill of tremendous importance—a place where spirituality met with royalty, and mythical traditions began. The Hill of Tara, one of the most revered spiritual sites in Ireland, is a place where druids held festivals, priestesses were trained and shaman’s rites were performed.
Haida Gwaii, a chain of islands off the coast of British Columbia, has been the home of the Haida people for untold centuries. The distinct coastal culture of the Haida depends on the once-abundant red cedar trees, forests that have been decimated by five decades of intensive clear-cutting.
Sacred forest groves dot the otherwise increasingly degraded landscape of Ghana, in West Africa, providing oases of biodiversity and tradition. The pressures of poverty, cultural change, and migration are causing inhabitants to harvest resources from the groves at an unsustainable rate.
In the vast and rocky Mojave Desert of Southern California, Ward Valley is sacred land for the five lower Colorado River Indian tribes, and critical habitat for the endangered—and traditionally revered—desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii.