In Estonia, around 2500 traditional sacred natural sites, covering large areas of land are known to contain significant spiritual, cultural and natural heritage values. Further research and documentation is expected to reveal a network of as much as 7000 sacred natural sites in the country alone.
Shamans, cultural activists and spiritual practitioners from around the world gathered recently in the mountains of Central Asia to conduct a ceremony in protection of sacred sites. The group met for four days in the Uch Enmek natural ethno-park in Karakol, where – amidst breath-taking landscape – it performed a native fire ceremony designed to call forth “the Spirits of Altai.”
A new book, Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving nature and culture, is being launched by IUCN today at the Convention on Biological Diversity conference in Nagoya, Japan. The launch is part of an event organized through a collaboration between ETC-COMPAS and IUCN and is dedicated to promoting sacred natural sites and their crucial role in conserving nature and culture. The book is based on experience from around the world which highlights the importance of sacred natural sites in biodiversity conservation and the long-standing relationships between nature and people.
Jaime Santiago Mariscal (Pronatura) and Bas Verschuuren (CVNI & IUCN CSVPA) visited the territories of the Mayos and the Seris in the coastal desert as well as the snow covered mountains of the Tarahumara.
While eyes are on the football World Cup, bulldozers are destroying a sacred waterfall in South Africa.
IUCN launches today Russian and Spanish versions of its Sacred Natural Sites: Guidelines for Protected Area Managers – a landmark publication to support the protection of sacred places around the world.