A new report - " "- released today by the, the and The Gaia Foundation makes recommendations for securing greater recognition of Sacred Natural Sites and Territories, and the rights of the communities who protect these sites. Adam Hussein Adam, author of the report explains, '' ''
The aim of the Report is to inform communities, civil society, lawyers and policy makers of the importance of Sacred Natural Sites and Territories, and of the many emerging challenges that these sites and communities face. It provides .
The report, commissioned in 2011 following the enactment of Kenya's new Constitution in 2010, examines how the Constitution, national and international laws can support the recognition of Sacred Natural Sites and their community governance systems. It makes a number of key recommendations for communities, civil society and Government to strengthen the recognition of, and support for, local Custodians of Sacred Natural Sites and their customary governance systems based on principles, which protect these areas. It also explores some of the issues which need to be addressed in the pending Community Land Act. .
Gathuru Mburu, Coordinator of the African Biodiversity Network based in Kenya, comments, ''.''
The report also explores grassroots initiatives in other countries which are establishing precedents to protect sacred lands. Recently community Custodians of Sacred Natural Sites from across Africa came together and shared their voices in a film - Sacred Voices - made by the African Biodiversity Network & The Gaia Foundation. Custodian Vhomakhadzi Joyce from Venda, South Africa explains, '' .'' Affirming this, M'rimberia Mwongo from Meru, Kenya states, '' ." You can watch the film.
Liz Hosken, Director of the Gaia Foundation in the UK, comments, ''.''
The report serves as a timely training and advocacy tool for all those seeking to preserve these sanctuaries of bio-cultural diversity from growing threats, and to secure recognition of communities' rights and responsibilities to govern and protect Sacred Natural Sites and Territories.
The report has been authored by Adam Hussein Adam, an equality rights champion with special focus on cultural communication, diversity and inclusion, and Earth Jurisprudence. Adam is the current Equality and Citizenship Programme Coordinator at the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa. He was commissioned by the Institute for Culture and Ecology (ICE) to write this report with support from the African Biodiversity Network and the Gaia Foundation.
This Report is dedicated to Thomas Berry for inspiring us all in the "Great Work" of understanding, developing and practicing Earth Jurisprudence, and to Ng'ang'a Thiong'o, Kariuki Thuku, and Professor Wangari Muta Maathai for their pioneering work in reviving and securing recognition of Earth Jurisprudence in Kenya.
Pauline Kamau (Green Belt Movement, Kenya)
Korir Sing'Oei (Founding Trustee, Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE))
Francesca de Gasparis (Green Belt Movement, Europe)
Nnimmo Bassey (Coordinator, Oilwatch International)
Colleen Corrigan (IUCN- Theme on Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, Equity and Protected Areas (TILCEPA))
Polly Higgins (Barrister and campaigner for Eradicating Ecocide)
Rachel Murray (Professor of International Human Rights Law, University of Bristol, UK)