Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

I explore my people’s sacred space to protect biodiversity

Zoleka Filander pictured aboard the research ship RV Algoa.

Zoleka Filander is an ecologist at the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa. Credit: Barry Christianson for Nature

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Nature 616, 852 (2023)


Updates & Corrections

  • Correction 28 April 2023: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that Zoleka Filander has a role in advising on permits. It also misstated how tribe members interact with the ocean.


Nature Careers


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links