Rights of Nature

Machu-Picchu.jpg

An upcoming international conference at UGA will focus on indigenous advocacy for the preservation of sacred sites around the world:

Approximately 100 participants and speakers from nearly a dozen countries are expected to attend the conference on "Indigenous Revival and Sacred Sites Conservation." The conference, hosted by the department of geography in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, is free and open to the public.

"This conference puts UGA at the forefront of an important new development in the field of environmental conservation," said Fausto Sarmiento, associate professor of geography and conference convener. "Indigenous peoples are taking a more active role in defining what happens within their territories; and this has social, environmental and economic ramifications that we will examine."

This is a very important aspect of human sustainability that has been given very little public attention until now. With the many consequences of globalization and over-development upon us, it has been and continues to be necessary to be concerned about the physical characteristics of these changes. This conference reminds us that these cannot be untangled from the human and spiritual, as well.

As Sam's release notes, the true cross-disciplinary nature of this conference will be at the heart of supporting such efforts going forward.

The conference also marks the launch of the Neotropical Montology Collaboratory at UGA, which will be housed within the geography department. The multidisciplinary group aims to bring together researchers from fields such as anthropology, sociology and forestry to explore the transformation occurring in mountainous regions of the Americas due to the environmental drivers of climate change, which include socioeconomic factors of globalization.

International Conference on Indigenous Revival and Sacred Sites Conservation

Thursday, April 5 2012

Tate Student Center

Image: Machu Pichu, courtesy of wikipedia commons and GNU Free Document License.