Empowering guardian communities in Guatemala

Community Meeting
The Sacred Natural Sites Initiative and Oxlajuj Ajpop, the National Council of Maya Spiritual Leaders in Guatemala have been working together for over four years now.  What started as a collaboration to get broader and international support for the Law Initiative of Sacred Sites in Guatemala has grown into a country programme that is actively […]

Asian Sacred Natural Sites: Call for contributions to a publication and online case studies

Copies of the Japanese IUCN UNESCO Sacred NAtural Sites Guidelines on display at the side event where group work took place. Source: APC
Asian Sacred Natural Sites: An ancient Asian philosophy and practice with fundamental significance to protected areas. (download this call) Within the context of the Asian Sacred Sites Network Project, IUCN WCPA Japan, the Biodiversity Network Japan and the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative in collaboration with the IUCN WCPA Specialist group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of […]

International Statement on Living, Recognizing and Protecting Sacred Sites of Arctic Indigenous Peoples

Caption: Presentation of the Conference Statement by the indigenous participants. Photo: Bas Verschuuren. By Leena Heinämäki, Thora Herrmann and Bas Verschuuren on behalf of the conference co-organizers In September 2013, a group of nearly 80 participants from 12 different countries and 7 different Indigenous Peoples developed the “Conference Statement and Recommendations on: Recognition and Safeguarding of the […]

Conservation Experience: Protecting Paluküla Sacred Forest Hill in Estonia

The Sacred Natural Sites Initiative regularly features “Conservation Experiences” of custodians, protected area managers, and others that stand to protect sacred sites. This post features the experiences of Mr. Arvi Sepp from the ‘Estonian House of Taara and Native Religions’ which protects and revitalises sacred natural sites all over Estonia. Arvi Sepp and his colleagues […]

Introducing the Asian Sacred Natural Sites Network

Banner image: Gongcheol Jeong (1960-2013, Republic of (South) Korea), was a Jeju shaman also called Shimbang. He participated in the cultural movement through theatrical activities and lived as a shaman who holds real guts  (ceremony) for connecting people to sacred landscapes. (Photo: Bas Verschuuren 2012) After last year’s preparatory work we are now pleased to introduce […]

Conservation Experience: Tourism and holiness at Montserrat, Spain.

This special feature of the “Conservation Experiences” is based on an interesting case developed by the Delos Initiative.  The Delos initiative is well know for its work on Sacred Natural Sites in developed countries since 2005. The work presented in this feature is based on the monastic community that hosted the first Delos Workshop in […]

Increased Profile and Network for Sacred Natural Sites at the Asian Parks Congress in Japan

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The Asian Parks Congress (APC), held in the city of Sendai, Japan from 13 – 18th November 2013 welcomed over 800 people from 22 Asian countries and from across the world.  The Sacred Natural Sites Initiative and WCPA Japan hosted a dedicated working group session and a side event that discussed the rich and diverse dimensions of sacred […]

Sacred Natural Sites, Wilderness and Extractive Industries at WILD10 in Spain

Wild HEader
The 10ht World Wilderness Congress has seen significant discussions about many issues related to Sacred Natural Sites and Indigenous communities. The Sacred Natural Sites Initiative presented on the importance of Sacred Natural Sites in conservation strategies for spiritual landscapes as well as for worldwide networks on mountain trails. One of SNSI’s advisors, Mayan Spiritual Leader […]

Towards a ‘Top 10 Guidelines’ for researchers and conservation practitioners working on Sacred Natural Sites.

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With this article we would like to invite you to think creatively and critically about the role of science and by extension those of conservation and policy-making in relation to sacred natural sites. In particular, we invite you to consider the significance that sacred natural sites hold in the eyes of their custodians and communities […]

Support for a new ‘Mamamobile’ for the Kogi in Colombia

The Kogi in de Sierra Nevada de Santa Martha in Colombia are the custodians of the ‘heart of the world’. Their sacred territory including themselves and their spiritual leaders –the Mamos- are increasingly under threat from outside pressures. Read the letter from Calixto Suarez, Mamo of the Kogi. We feel powerless, as our land now belongs […]