Myth as a biodiversity conservation strategy for the Vhavenda, South Africa

17 October 2012

The use of myth and superstition is an integral part of indigenous communities in Africa. It is used as a traditional approach for sustainable use and management of natural resources. The use of myths has significantly played a role in preserving biodiversity in the traditional Vhavenda community. Certain trees are forbidden for use as firewood, which has indirectly contributed towards the conservation of associated biodiversity and ecosystems services. The article is based on a study that investigates the role played by traditional Vhavenda myths in conserving biodiversity and associated ecosystems, including reasons behind the use of myths in prohibiting unsustainable use of biodiversity. Different techniques were used to collect data, namely interviews, observations, personal experience and a literature review. Results suggest that workable indigenous approaches exist to deal with biodiversity conservation