Sacred Groves and Green Corridors

Gavenus, Erika, Joy, Stella, Joy, Tara | July 5, 2016 | Leave a Comment Download as PDF

Sacred Grove courtesy of Active Remedy Ltd.

Active Remedy Ltd. is a UK-based non-profit focused upon uniting people around the world in working together to protect the global water cycle, which is presently under threat. The group aims to raise awareness of the global water cycle and to prompt initiatives and effective actions to safeguard it. Extensive research conducted by Active Remedy Ltd. directly points to a vital link between the present instability in the global water cycle and the massive deforestation of the primal indigenous mountain forests worldwide. Consequently, Active Remedy Ltd. works to protect and restore these critical habitats. This point was reiterated in the most recent Sustainable Development Goals Document: ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’ This is a mandate, which was agreed upon and signed by world governments in September 2015. Within the Goal on water, Target 6.6 states:

By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

In particular, since 2006 Active Remedy Ltd. has been meeting and communicating with mountain communities of the Himalayas to design a method to facilitate the reforestation of mountain regions. These meetings have helped to inform and substantiate Active Remedy Ltd.’s model of approach called The ‘Sacred Groves and Green Corridors’ (SGGC) method. This is a way of working directly with mountain communities that integrates modern and traditional knowledge and conservation methods. It does this through combining the conservation methods of sacred groves, green-corridors or greenbelts, permaculture and companion planting. Because it has been formulated in relation to these communities, it offers a diversity of approaches that are in harmony with, and adaptable to, local ecosystems and the social values, traditions and spiritual customs of local people.

This method has not been formulated solely for implementation in the Himalayas. It has been designed so that it can be applied and adapted to facilitate worldwide ecological restoration, preservation and adaptation efforts, with the aim of rebalancing the global water cycle and extreme changes in the climate. In the 1990’s in a Climate Change program established by President Clinton, entitled the USGCRP, it was recognized that:

“Water is at the heart of both the causes and the effects of climate change” [1]

In April 2016 Active Remedy Ltd. was presented with the opportunity to share their method with a global audience, when the UNFCCC reached out for contributions to a compilation of “good practices, tools and available data collection initiatives for the use of local, indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for adaptation”. Active Remedy Ltd. submitted their report, The Sacred Groves and Green Corridors Method to outline their innovative, practical method and to provide a useful formula that can be used by groups and individuals around the world in efforts to address the very real threats of climate change, water shortages, and disasters.

Active Remedy’s ‘Sacred Groves and Green Corridors’ report was accepted by the UNFCCC and included in their Adaptation Knowledge Portal in May 2016.

It was also added to their full compilation report alongside entries from leading universities, large conservation organizations, and UN agencies.

The UNFCCC database has provided Active Remedy Ltd. with the opportunity to raise awareness of the group’s work and research and also to recognize the tremendous knowledge base and adaptive-capacity held within traditional, local, and indigenous practices. By being showcased by the UNFCCC, the ‘Sacred Groves and Green Corridors’ method will hopefully be in the position to provide a useful formula that many groups and individuals around the world can use in their efforts to address the very real threats of climate change, water shortages and disasters.

Active Remedy Ltd.’s co-founders and directors Stella Joy and Tara Joy also had the incredible honor of discussing this report and their work, as it pertains to Tibet and the high Himalayan regions, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Stella and Tara walked away from this meeting feeling very happy and infused with fresh energy to continue the work of Active Remedy Ltd. and potentially fulfill their aim of working with many groups around the world in coordinating and helping to establish replicable models throughout Earths’ mountain regions, while it is still feasibly possible to do so.

[1] USGCRP, Chapter 1: Rational for the Science Plan


Active Remedy Ltd. participates in the MAHB as a node, you can find out more about the group’s recent activities and connect with them here.

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MAHB Blog: https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/sacred-groves-green-corridors/

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • I’m really pleased to see this as it reminds everyone of the urgent crisis of disintegrating mountain ecosystems throughout the world, where many of the most fragile and unique biomes left on the planet – and their approximately 300 million human co-habitants – are at great risk.

    Both the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and other UN agencies; the vast multi-trillion dollar global eco-tourism industries; and the governance within indigenous communities located in mountain ecosystems, are all necessary partners in what can only be seen as a complex of ethical pragmatic innovations. Hopeful, solution-based targets must be collectively aimed at the preservation of fresh water sources, as more and more planetary boundaries – particularly the amount of snowfall and precipitation and the impact of that on every biochemical cycle, and the vulnerability to ground pollution (nitrogen and phosphorous, etc.) – are exacerbated in the higher, thinner airs of the mountain realms. The same places where millions of exogenous impacts (read: hikers, campers, climbers, tourists, new developments to accommodate this onrush) occur.

    I really applaud the “Sacred Groves and Clean Corridors” approaches to these profoundly important issues.