What is a sacred natural site? European perspectives

Experiencing the forest in Vilm

Sacred natural sites are natural places with deep and profound meaning to people. We have all heard about famous sacred places such as the monolith Uluru in Australia, the river Ganges in India, the San Francisco Peaks in Northern America or Mt. Croagh St Patrick in Ireland. Those who have visited sacred sites recognise that what sets them apart from other places is their special spiritual significance to us humans.

In this video, the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative asked twelve people in twelve minutes what they think a sacred natural site is and what it means to them.

What is a sacred natural site? European perspectives. from Sacred Natural Sites on Vimeo.

The people in the video are all participants of the International Workshop on Spiritual Values of Protected Areas in Europe which was hosted by the German Ministry of Nature Conservation and held at the International Academy for Nature Conservation at the Island of Vilm in November 2011.

From this video it becomes apparent that many Europeans recognise that sacred natural sites are important to their well-being. They form an important part of people’s spiritual life and of the way they view and experience their relationship with nature. According to the workshop participants it is this relationship which people in today’s western European society need to restore. They argue that revitalising this bond will help us to live sustainable lifestyles in balance with nature and give meaning to our lives beyond what material wealth can provide.

Protected Areas in Europe are of key importance to help people get in touch with nature and themselves. At the work shop the importance of spiritual values of nature was further investigated with the objective to develop recommendations for the management of Protected Areas, see also “The Spirit of Nature Soars over Vilm“.

Special thanks for the production of the video goes to all the workshop participants who have freely given their insights, to Bojan Rantasa for his camera skills and to Bas Verschuuren for the production of the video.

Follow our videos on the Sacred Natural Sites Video Channel at www.vimeo.com/sacrednaturalsites

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