In April 2012, eight traditional Sacred Natural Site Custodians came together for a meeting to discuss their experiences and concerns relating to their Sacred territories and the treats they face. They drafted a powerful statement, “Statement on Common African Customary Laws for the Protection of Sacred Natural Sites“, which called on governments, corporations, law and policy makers to recognize that Africa has Sacred Natural Sites that must be protected.
Sacred Voices is a short film which shares the messages of these eight custodians, who came from Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda. The emotive interviews that comprise this film demonstrate the custodians’ ancient birthright and duty to protect the Sacred Natural Sites found within their territories.
This is an extract from the statement:
“We, custodians of Sacred Natural Sites from four African countries, are working together to revive our traditions and to protect our Sacred Natural Sites and Territories. We are deeply concerned about our Earth because she is suffering from increasing destruction despite all the discussions, international meetings, facts and figures and warning signs from Earth.
The future of our children and the children of all the species of Earth are threatened. When this last generation of elders dies, we will lose the memory of how to live respectfully on our planet, if we do not learn from them. Our generation living now has a responsibility like no other generation before us. Our capacity to stop the current addiction to money from destroying the very conditions of life and the health of our planet, will determine our children’s future.”
As threats to Sacred Natural Sites grow daily from corporate and government interests in land, forests and water, the communities for whom these sites are so vital, are being pushed aside and ignored. The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network supported the making of this film in order that their voices are heard and shared, their opinions listened to and their requests supported.