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The African Biodiversity Network (ABN) has urged Ghanaians to protect their cultural and sacred sites to ensure they do not go extinct.

The network says most Ghanaians are looking down on their cultural and sacred sites because of their Islamic and Christian beliefs, a situation he noted was threatening the existence of such sites.

“We need to respect and recognize our culture and history and also our ancestry. Most people turn to look down on Sacred sites as if they are things you can’t even talk about and that they are almost contradictory to our Christian or Muslim belief System” Dr Abdulai Sulemana, the Chairman of the ABN told journalists in Tamale on Tuesday.

The Network, in partnership with RAINS Ghana is organizing an ongoing three day international workshop for members of the African Biodiversity Network in Tamale.

ABN leaders engaging participants

The members are drawn from Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Benin, among others.

The workshop is centered on linking science and indigenous knowledge through ABN’s multiple evidence based approach.

Dr Sulemana said as Africans derive their identity from their ancestry, it was important for them to protect the culture of their ancestors which defines them.

“For me I think our identity as a people derives from our ancestors and that ancestry is what defines us and our relationship with one another.

“There is no community or group in this world that doesn’t have a story of origin.

The stories of origin often has a spiritual undertones or spiritual roots.

For example, we take the Ashantis, the Golden Stool, even though the Golden Stool is a stool, but it is linked to the very heart and roots of the history of the Ashanti people.” he stressed.

He noted that “Therefore, the things that hold people together, the things that we draw our identify, the web of kingship that exist between us and one another derives from the stories of origin but also those things that have spiritual, Cultural and ecological Importance.”

Participants bemoaned the encroachment of sacred sites across Africa as a major challenges militating against the protection of such lands.

The Kanvili Tindana, bemoaned the lack of collaboration between custodians of sacred sites in Dagbon, chiefs and government representatives, saying that it was affecting the protection of such places.

Appolinaire Oussou Lio, a Custodian of a Sacred site

Appolinaire Oussou Lio, a Custodian of a Sacred site in Benin told Justicefmonline that sacred sites in Benin are being destroyed by developers just like in many other countries, a situation he said was dangerous to the existence of humans.

Story: Mumuni Yirifa Yunus |Justicefmonline | Tamale

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