- Conservation action
- Partnership, dialogue & exchange
- Knowledge, and learning
- Guidance and policy
- Communication and awareness
- Financial support
Conservation ActionOn the ground projects aim to support priorities identified by custodians and are implemented by local partners. The main aim is to secure the cultural, biological and spiritual values of sacred natural sites. In addition they can form a fertile ground for the implementation and testing different approaches and methods. There are currently projects under development in Ghana, Tanzania and Guatemala.
Partnership, Dialogue and Exchange
The initiative works through partnership with a range of organisations. Some of these support custodians on the ground, while others work at policy and advocacy at national and international levels. Where conservation of sacred natural sites requires the collaboration of different stakeholders the work is based on dialogue.
Dialogue aims at mutual understanding and building of common purpose. It also that represent and built on learning experiences of custodians and their supporting organisations in conserving their sacred natural sites in the face of unsympathetic conservation, archeology, developing tourism, mining, forestry, and dominant religious practices for example.
Exchange allows the sharing of lessons and experiences of efforts to improve conservation of sacred sites at the policy and ground level. Ultimately exchanges between custodians to share experiences and challenges at their sacred lands are envisaged.
Knowledge and Learning
Traditional knowledge at sacred sites includes profound spiritual insights, cultural experience as well as knowledge of land, landscape, animals and plants. Combining mainstream scientific knowledge with traditional and cultural ways of knowing can provide a powerful tool for conservation efforts. In fact, recognizing these traditional and cultural imperially tested sources of knowledge it becomes more acceptable to talk about “sciences”.
Much of this cultural and spiritual knowledge related to sacred natural sites is, however, sensitive often restricted and sometimes secret, and requires the utmost respect. Based on the initiative's principles including free prior informed consent (FPIC) the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative is gathering and analyzing appropriate information and the experiences from different projects and partners and sharing them in different forms such as in workshops, developing learning materials and on this website.