At the end of its last sitting, African Commission passed an important resolution urging African states to protect sacred natural sites and territories. The resolution recognises the connection between sacred sites and human rights and cultures of indigenous people. The link for the final resolution is now available: http://www.achpr.org/sessions/60th/resolutions/372/
One of the NGOs involved in developing the resolution and the comprehensive dossier that impressed the African Commission is EarthLore. We have been engaged with the Fuleni and Somkhele communities since 2015, and support their opposition to opencast coal mining on borders of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, and their wish to retain their land for agriculture and appropriate environmentally related sustainable developments. The area is rich in sites that are sacred to the Zulu people. This is where Shaka grew up as a boy with his mother after Nandi was banished and she went to live with her Mthethwa uncle.
There is interest in an ambitious project to create a cultural corridor that links HiP to the Valley of the Kings and Ulundi that could become a Cultural World Heritage site.
The area around HiP is also forms part of one of the 11 biodiversity economy nodes identified by the national government to accelerate growth of the wildlife economy. Government’s Biodiversity Economy Strategy is focused on: sustainable economic development, job creation and food security and will involve engaging with neighbouring communities to explore the economic development potential of wildlife and cultural heritage within the buffer to the Park.