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God is my Forest in SA Journal of Science
18th June 2012


We are well aware that conservation and resource management in developing countries, including South Africa, is faced with great challenges in light of the dire poverty and continued marginalisation experienced by people living in these areas. We believe, however, that a better understanding of people’s values and worldviews can only improve efforts at resource management and nature conservation. This study has made it clear that maintenance of biodiversity and natural vegetation is as much in the interest of local communities’ well-being as it is in the interest of global conservation planners.

Cocks, M.L., Dold, T. & Vetter, S. 2012. “God is my forest” - Xhosa cultural values provide untapped opportunities for conservation.  South African Journal of Science 108(5/6):

Our photo of Xhosa Diviners (amaGqirha) emegring from a forest ritual is chosen for the cover of the journal.