Conservation experience: Monks on Mount Athos, Greece

Emperor Basil I of Byzantine bestowed the monks with the sole right of entrance to the Mount Athos peninsula in 885 A.D. They have built a flourishing religious community and maintained and protected the ecosystem ever since. Their management predominantly consists of controlling entrance and regulating timber practices. The peninsula is officially recognized as a […]

A canoe pilgrimage to the isle of Boreray, Scotland

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For Lewis raised SNSI advisor Alastair McIntosh, inflating his canoe and taking it for a spin around the Hebrides Islands was not a story of heroic outdoor activity. Alistair, who’s been long involved with reading the soul of landscapes and interested in people’s deeper intertwinements with nature, headed out for a pilgrimage to the sacred […]

Conservation Experience: Community crocodile conservation in the Niger Delta, Nigeria.

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In the Niger delta, the Biseni and Osiami people live together in harmony with local crocodiles. The lakes were the crocodiles live lakes are considered sacred and the crocodiles are seen as brothers to the Bisini and Osiami. Whenever a crocodile dies it gets a funeral just like a human being. This co-existence is threatened […]

Mining Sacred Worlds – Film Festival in Wageningen Netherlands

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This four-day film festival (oct 5-8) with dialogues from guest speakers takes place at Movie W Film Theatre in Wageningen Netherlands. The festival evolves around the mining boom currently threatening the environment, people and indigenous communities around the world. It highlights the impacts on indigenous peoples’ sacred places and their ways of living, seeing and […]

Sacred natural sites, spirituality and religion at the International Congress of Conservation Biology, France.

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The tweets prior to the event showed this years’ hot issues at the International Congress of Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Montpellier France would be ‘drones’ and ‘religion’. As part of the latter, SNSI was invited collaborate in a session on the role of faith and spirituality in conservation organised by the Society on Conservation Biology’s […]

Sacred Natural Sites at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney Australia 2014

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Taking place in Sydney Australia in November this year, the IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) happens every ten years and sets the agenda for protected areas planning, management and governance world-wide. In 2003 the event was held in Durban South Africa under the patronage of Nelson Mandela who said: I see no future for parks, […]

Progress on Asian Sacred Natural Sites: Publication and Case Studies

Vata Puja in progress. The Ficus tree is believed to be the king of all trees, for its endurance and longevity.
The Sacred Natural Sites Initiative, IUCN Asian Regional Office and the World Commission on Protected Areas in Japan are developing a publication entitled: Asian Sacred Natural Sites: Philosophy and Practice in Protected Areas and Conservation. The publication is part of the Asian Network Project that kicked off at the first Asian Parks Congress in Sendai […]

Empowering guardian communities in Guatemala

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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 […]