Climate Change Threatening World’s Cultural Heritage, Including Sacred Sites
World Monuments Watch Press Release

NEW YORK, USA: Rising seas, melting ice and spreading deserts are threatening cultural landmarks across the globe. Every two years the World Monuments Fund lists endangered sites and the forces that threaten them. Now they have included global warming for the first time. Tara Hill in Ireland, considered a sacred landscape, is now threatened by the development of a highway meant to ease the commute from Dublin. Canada’s Herschel Island, situated on the edge of the Yukon and home to ancient Inuit sites, could be washed away in melting permafrost. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq has put that country’s entire cultural heritage at grave risk, the nonprofit group said. More…

Global Outlook for Snow and Ice – Threats to Traditional Ways of Life
UNEP Press Release

TROMSO, NORWAY: Ice, snow and climate change are closely linked. The Global Outlook for Ice and Snow investigates those linkages. It also presents information on the trends in ice and snow, the outlook for this century and beyond and the consequences to ecosystems and human well-being of these changes. Some communities are already adapting to climate change. Hunters in parts of Greenland are abandoning traditional dogsleds in favour of small open boats as a result of less predictable sea ice. However the report acknowledges that many indigenous peoples lack the financial resources and technology needed to adapt. More…

Australian Aborigines burn the way to climate control
BBC News

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA: A crackling fire snakes towards Dean Yibarbuk’s bare legs, as he and a group of fellow Aborigines walk through this isolated corner of the Australian Outback, pouring long trails of burning kerosene into the grass. It may seem strange, even dangerous behaviour, in a region where wildfires sweep through almost half the wilderness every year. But this work is part of a unique “carbon trading” deal which is harnessing ancient traditions of indigenous fire management in a very modern struggle against greenhouse gas pollution. “Our people have been doing this for thousands of years, to control the land,” says Dean. More…

Global Warming Threatens Traditions of Indigenous Peoples
UN Chronicle

NEW YORK, USA: Over 370 million indigenous peoples live in nearly 70 countries today. They see themselves as caregivers of the land and have maintained a close relationship with the earth. This traditional role was stressed during the sixth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, whose special theme was the indigenous peoples’ rights to Territories, Lands and Natural Resources, held at UN Headquarters in New York from 14 to 25 May 2007. Climate change was one of the priority issues discussed at various events during the two-week session. More…

Yoga Shlokas to be Translated for Patents Protection
Financial Express (India)

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The Indian government is embarking on an ambitious project to translate ancient Sanskrit scriptures in five foreign languages and send them to patent offices globally to prevent blatant commercial misuse of traditional Indian knowledge such as yoga in the US and other countries.
The department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) has engaged top institutes such as Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga and Kewal Dham of Pune to translate Sanskrit shlokas describing yogic asanas in English, French and German among other languages. More…

Traditional medicine to improve healthcare in Congo

BRAZZAVILLE, CONGO: The government of the Republic of Congo is implementing a public health strategy that includes traditional herbal cures to complement conventional medicine, in a bid to ensure wider availability of healthcare. “Congolese traditional medicine shall from now on be considered in order to make its use better organised and more effective,” said Célestine Tchissambou Bayonne, permanent secretary in the ministry of health, social affairs and family. More…

Ijaw Royal Fathers Task Govt on Harnessing Herbs in Niger-Delta

LAGOS, NIGERIA: Ijaw traditional rulers and members of the communities” development committees have called on the state and Federal Governments to exploit the abundant herbs and plants existing in the Niger Delta region as a way of empowering tradio-medical experts and youths to tackle killer diseases.
According to the traditional rulers and CDCs, the use of herbs at commercial quantity could create another means of livelihood that would help reduce the agitations of youths over the use of revenue accruable from oil and gas in the region. More…

Africa Insight – It’s Time the West Accepted Africa’s Traditional Healers
The Nation

NAIROBI, KENYA: Despite the increasing availability of Anti-retro viral drugs in sub Saharan Africa, the continent’s traditional healers and their plant medicines are playing an important role in the treatment of some of the most dreadful HIV and Aids-related opportunistic infections and other ailments. Given local considerations, it is not surprising that most people living with HIV and Aids are using traditional herbal treatments for HIV-related conditions, including opportunistic infections. And, according to most experts, traditional medicine is carrying the burden of clinical care for the HIV and Aids epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, a trend largely overlooked by health ministries, international agencies and donors. More…

Smithsonian scientists connect climate change, culture and agriculture in Mexico

A press release from the Smithsonian Institute draws attention to a study that links climate change, culture and agriculture. Mexico’s Central Balsas Valley is believed to be one of the sites where farmers domesticated maize and squashes. The new data suggest that the climate in the Balsas valley became cooler and drier at the end of the most recent ice age. Lakes in the valley formed at around that time and became magnets for human settlements, which contain evidence of maize and squash pollen. More…