African legal decision to protect Sacred Natural Sites
Niamey (Níger)May 2017
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the regional treaty body for Africa, at its 60th ordinary session in Niamey this month of May has approved a resolution asking for the conservation of Sacred Natural Sites.
This was the work of the African Biodiversity Network and Gaia Foundation which have been working with the erstwhile TILCEPA, with IPACC and other networks to pass a series of international resolutions protecting Sacred Natural Sites and reinforcing the role of traditional owners / custodians.
This again, places in front of IUCN, WCPA and CSVPA an opportunity to help promote and implement the resolution, which synergises with several IUCN resolutions and recommendations, including those from the World Conservation Congress in 2016.
For Africa, it means there is a legal basis to start lobbying for better conservation and governance of sacred natural sites within national policy frameworks. So far only Benin has a formal legislative framework and Ethiopia has its cabinet memo on the subject.