© UNICEF/Rindra Ramasomanana Forests support many local communities in Madagascar.
Forests are often called the lungs of the planet, because they absorb harmful carbon dioxide and produce life-giving oxygen so it’s no exaggeration to equate healthy forests with healthy people, the theme of this year’s International Day of Forests.
Covering 31 per cent of Earth’s land and providing a home to 80 per cent of all land-based species, forests are crucial to human health and well-being, but their loss across the planet is threatening people everywhere.
Here are five things you need to know about the age-old and ever-growing interlinked relationship between forests and human health. Continue reading
After successfully reclaiming her people’s territory in Northern Argentina, Celestina Ábalos turned to tourism to share and promote her indigenous culture. UN entrepreneurship training during the COVID-19 pandemic helped her business to grow.
Indigenous entrepreneur Celestina Ábalos runs a tourism business in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy province, northern Argentina, sharing her community’s culture and knowledge of medicinal herbs.
“I am a child of Pachamama, Mother Earth. Earth is everything to us. It is life. We cannot conceive of ourselves without her. My community dates back 14,000 years. On behalf of 60 families, I led a 20-year fight for the right to land, education and freedom.
We used to live under a rental system where we had a landlord who delineated the spaces for us to occupy and to live in, both for sowing crops and raising cattle. It was a life very much governed by what the master said, by the space you had to occupy, and by what I saw my parents having to pay at the end of each year. These were very powerful moments for a teenager.
Through the process of reclaiming our territory I began to think more about how to make my history and the history of my people known. I have always seen, and I continue to see in the media, the stigma that is placed on us indigenous peoples. I wanted to show and make the other side of the story known. That motivated me but I was thinking: “How do I do it, how do I show this?”
“I used to work in an office, and people would come to my place of work to sell ‘West Nile honey’, named after the region I come from. I was interested to see that my region was being used as a brand, and discovered that West Nile is one of the top ranked regions in Uganda for the production of honey.
So, I decided that I would come back home, and start a company to serve my community.
The values that we ascribe to nature are vital parts of our cultures, identities, economies, and ways of life, all of which should be reflected in policy decisions surrounding our natural world, according to a new UN-backed report released on Monday.