Q'ero villagers grow potatoes on the slopes of the Peruvian Andes, but global warming is melting the glaciers that water their crops.
Q’ero villagers grow potatoes on the slopes of the Peruvian Andes, but global warming is melting the glaciers that water their crops.

“Fire and Ice” is the third of a four-part documentary, “Standing on Sacred Ground,” in which indigenous people around the world resist threats to their sacred places—the original protected lands—in a growing movement to defend human rights and restore the environment.  It will be shown in the Arizona Senior Academy’s Great Room on Thursday (Aug. 25) at 3:30 p.m.

From Ethiopia to Peru, indigenous customs that protect biodiversity on sacred lands are under pressure from religious conflicts and climate change.  In the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia, scientists confirm the benefits of traditional stewardship even as elders witness the decline of spiritual practices that have long protected trees, meadows, and mountains. Tensions with evangelical Christians over a sacred meadow erupt into a riot.

In the Peruvian Andes, the Q’eros, on a pilgrimage to a revered glacier, are driven from the ritual site by intolerant Catholics.  Q’eros potato farmers face a more ominous foe: global warming is melting glaciers, their water source.  Andes farmers, scientists and visiting Ethiopians struggle to adapt indigenous agriculture methods to a changing climate.

“Standing on Sacred Ground” was a film project of the Earth Island Institute. It is the legacy of David Brower, who helped define the modern environmental movement.

The documentary was shown at the Sedona Film Festival in December 2015. It was part of 15 days of local “Climate Care Awareness” events, held in conjunction with the global actions surrounding the December UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris.

The last of this series is “Islands of Sanctuary” (Hawai’i/Australia), to be shown Sept. 1, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Written by Marcia Reinagel, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event

The New Threat to Sacred Lands: Climate Change: August 2016