Traditional African Religion in Natural Resources Conservation and Management in Cross River State, Nigeria

Eneji C. V. O., Ntamu G. U., Unwanade C. C., Godwin A. B., Bassey J. E., Willaims J. J., Joseph Ignatius


This article assessed the roles Traditional African Religion can play in the conservation and management of natural resources especially forest resources in Cross River State Nigeria. Some religious practices in the African Traditional Religion like methods worship, initiation rites, and the invocation of the sacred powers of the supreme beings, how these gods communicate their will to humans through the chief priests and how the gods are atoned if provoked were examined. The stronghold of African religion rests wholly on the ascription of psychic powers to any part of the natural environment as the abodes of the gods and goddesses of the land and the protection of these abodes of the gods/goddesses. The protection of the abodes of the gods from entrance, utilization and exploitation overtly or covertly encourages conservation and management of natural resources. Forbidden areas associated with worship contribute to natural resources conservation and management in Cross River State. These African traditional religious strategies for natural resource conservation and management have somehow been eroded by acculturation and enculturation of most African communities through the introduction of Christianity as a modern way of worship. The use of literature review and personal interviews was adopted by the authors for the study. The authors recommended a re-visitation of the principles of traditional African religious practices where modern conservation programs could integrate traditional knowledge systems into their activities in the conservation and management of our natural resources.

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Environment and Natural Resources Research   ISSN 1927-0488 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0496 (Online)   Email:

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