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Category archives for Sacred Natural Sites

Young Micronesians Explore Nan Madol: A New UNESCO World Heritage Site Located In Their Backyard.

Last month, UNESCO officially announced 21 new additions to the World Heritage Sites list. One of these — located on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei — is the ruins of Nan Madol. In celebration of their island treasure being recognized as a World Heritage Site, a group of local Pohnpeian college students took on the responsibility of providing the international community with their own local stories and images of Nan Madol.

In Canada’s Boreal Forest, ‘The Land That Gives Life’ Inspires a Push for Protection

A couple works to win UNESCO recognition to help save the vast wilderness of Pimachiowin Aki and preserve a culture’s link to the Earth  For millennia, the Anishinaabe people of the Poplar River First Nation, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, have called the boreal forest that surrounds and sustains them Pimachiowin Aki: The Land…

Journey Into Te Bangabanga: The Sacred Caves of Banaba Island

The morning was still dark when the young men arrived with their machetes and flashlights. We were on one of the most remote islands in the world, about to venture into an underground network of sacred caves known as te bangabanga. The land below the surface of Banaba, a Pacific island nearly 200 miles from…

Bellringers of the Russian Orthodox Church Toll for Religious Freedom

After 75 years of religious persecution, under the Soviet regime, the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a renaissance. In belfry towers across Russia, Orthodox bellringers toll their anthems of freedom.  

Wetland Revival: Using impact investment to restore nature

 Conservation interests and agencies gathered along the Murray River in Australia earlier this month to witness the return of water to a wetland system that now rarely receives floodwater from the river, due to construction of large water-storage reservoirs built upstream that capture the river’s flow and sends it to irrigated farms.   With the twist…

Shoreline Creeps Closer To Kiribati’s Sacred Sites

“If, one day, the waves take away these sacred places and they’re gone, we will keep on telling the stories,” explained Takirua Tiare, a traditional storyteller on Kiribati’s Marakei Island. “But I can’t stop that—I don’t hold the answer of the waves.”  As a taani karaki, as the storytellers are known, Tiare, 68, is in charge…

Sailing Halfway Around the World to Find Our Oldest Ancestors

The crew of the voyaging canoe, Hōkūle’a, arrive in Mossel Bay, South Africa, and reflect on the immense significance of this location, as a halfway point of the Worldwide Voyage and as a bridge that connects the genealogy of all people on Earth.

Beyond Japan: Descendants of Atomic Bomb Survivors Convene in Hiroshima

 A participant in the Global Hibakusha Project Workshop watches an example of oral history produced by the Project founder about a previous member. Photo By Ari Beser Hiroshima, Japan—“There was a film about Nagasaki called The Last Atomic Bomb, but in actuality over 2,000 nuclear weapons have been detonated since then,” reveals Bo Jacobs, associate professor…

Taking the Worldwide Voyage Underwater in Australia

The Great Barrier Reef spans more than 1,400 miles and is considered one of the best-preserved marine sites on Earth. Naturally, we needed to see this for ourselves. We needed to take the voyage underwater.

Mysterious Cave Art of an Island in the Arabian Sea

Socotra is known for its otherworldly plants and landscapes, but deep inside, its biggest mysteries are just beginning to be revealed.

In Pursuit of Illegal Loggers in India

In India in a rural area along the border with Bangladesh, Tripp Burwell, member of the Society for Conservation Biology, was helping local villagers learn about forest conservation when they heard the sounds of illegal loggers at work. Pursuit of the poachers resulted in an opportunity to apprehend and talk with the interlopers from a neighboring…

February 22, 2015: Discovering AIDS’ Animal Roots & Discovering Morocco’s Ancient Markets

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they dangle from a hot air balloon over pristine forest, walk from Russia across Australia, protect Italy’s wildlife in a national park, share a language with chimpanzees, document Alberta’s tar sands, track the evolution of HIV, climb China’s mountains and bird watch, visit Morocco’s ancient bazaars, and ski New England’s unusually deep powder.

January 18, 2015: Backyard Photography Tips and Antarctic Volcano Hunting

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they hold their breath off 50 foot waterfalls, photograph backyard wildlife for National Geographic magazine, study red poop from blue whales, treat pets for depression with counseling and sometimes Prozac, walk through Walla Walla, dedicate your life to saving African wilderness, study volcanoes on the coldest continent, watch the circle of life unfold in the Ethiopian highlands, feed the 5000, and run with wild dogs.

December 21, 2014: Reviving the Mammoth, Traveling From Canada to Tibet With 2 Kids and 0 Airplanes

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they search for enlightenment at a Buddhist monastery with their families, search for pain at high altitude, sacrifice children and llamas in Peru, recreate the mammoth, don’t finish a bucket list, rap about the wilderness, improve our IQ, figure out how to avoid avalanches in the backcountry, and photograph Europe’s large carnivores.

December 14, 2014: Survive The Horrors of WWII With the Hero of “Unbroken,” Chase Water Down the Colorado River and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they decide survival over summit glory in Myanmar, remain “Unbroken” with the hero of Angelina Jolie’s newest film, spill the secrets of Southern cuisine, track Berlin’s booming boar population, dodge los malditos on the rejuvenated Colorado River, teach kids to value the environment in school, paddle 2,000 miles to protect pristine wilderness, learn the forces that move Sarajevo’s society, and tap into nature’s therapeutic capabilities.