Why Culture Matters

The crucial link between indigenous culture and conservation

By United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation

The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation was created by National Geographic photographer Chris Rainier and corporate lawyer Olivia McKendrick out of a common sense of mission that they needed to do more for the planet. The charity's work is guided by the need to protect the cultures, language and livelihoods of indigenous communities around the world - for their own sake and also as part of the urgent fight against climate change and biodiversity destruction.

Mother and child, Koro by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Why?

Indigenous peoples make up 5% of the world’s population but look after 80% of its remaining wilderness.

Science proves that indigenous people are the best guardians of this land. It has protected them and they have protected it for thousands of years.

Huli Wigmen by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

But these communities can not be its guardians if they are forced by climate change and economic duress to sell or move from their land or if their land is taken from them.

If we save this crucial indigenous land, we save the planet.

Woman and corn by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

All Shoulders To The Wheel

Clearly climate change and wilderness loss needs to be tackled in multiple ways. 

Tsaatan reindeer woman by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Crucially, we must protect the lungs of the earth and, in particular, our forests and oceans.

Traditional women by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Why Culture Matters

At The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation, we focus on helping indigenous communities protect their land.

Mongolian woman by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

When indigenous communities protect just one square mile of forest from being cut down, they offset the annual carbon footprint of 35,000 people or 30,000 cars.

Uzbekistan woman by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

What We Do

The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation’s mission is to help indigenous communities protect their culture and their land.
We work in areas where both the local culture and biodiversity are endangered

Young monk and Buddhist statue by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Each Of Our Projects Has Four Core Elements

We build a cultural community centre as a focal point for cultural empowerment.
We record vital knowledge and language through a cultural and linguistic survey.

Maasai ceremonial dancers by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26


We promote local storytelling, photography and film-making.
We foster economic opportunities for communities to stay with their land.

Eagle Hunter Mongolia by Chris RainierUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

We must protect the protectors.

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Credits: Story

The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation is a 501c3 in the USA and a registered charity in the UK
READ MORE: www.culturalsanctuaries.org
DONATE: https://culturalsanctuaries.org/donate
CONTACT: info@culturalsanctuaries.org
FOLLOW: Instagram/culturalsanctuaries
LIKE: Facebook/culturalsanctuaries



The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views and opinions of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26. The mere appearance of the story on this website does not constitute an endorsement by the UN Climate Change Conference COP26. The UN Climate Change Conference COP26 does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness or completeness of third party material included in the story featured.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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