A NetworkAt the heart of sacred natural sites are their custodians. These are the individuals, families and communities that protect these sites on a day-to-day basis. Currently they are facing increasing challenges. The Sacred Natural Sites Initiative works with guardian communities and other s to secure the protection and conservation of sacred natural sites.
The initiative is being structured such that the work will be guided by a group of advisors which includes custodians so that their voices will be amplified and, without creating unrealistic expectations, their efforts supported. It is proposed to build an initiative to make a real difference to supporting these places and the human and biological values they hold that sustain life on earth.
Seeking Custodians Guidance
The Sacred Natural Sites Initiative is working with custodians, conservationists, academics and others in support of the conservation and revitalisation of sacred natural sites and territories.
The role of custodians is critical in this process and the initiative is actively developing a mechanism to seek the guidance of sacred site custodians. One model being examined is collaboration of custodians as part off an advisory group which includes knowledgeable people from different cultural and institutional backgrounds. It is envisaged in this way, custodians and advisors will guide the directions of the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative supported by programme coordinators.
Custodians of a sacred natural site and supporting organisations are welcomed to provide guidance to the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.
The Sacred Natural Sites Initiative facilitates dialogue on sacred natural sites between custodians themselves, between custodians and the conservation community. Dialogues further the recognisiont sacred natural sites better recognised the role of their guardians within conservation management taking steps such that the conservation community not only supports sacred sites in their own work but advocate for them at the national level both in terms of policy and practice.
Several dialogues have taken place at a variety of international conservation events, dedicated ceremonies and other occasions. In 2008 these dialogues led to the development of a Custodian Statement that with a specific IUCN Resolution on Sacred Natural Sites guides the conservation community towards appropriate action. Dialogue can help resolve management, policy and legal issues in specific situations where sacred natural sites are under threat. They can also be a source of inspiration and learning to revitalise interest in and improve the conservation of sacred natural sites.
The initiative can provide materials for similar dialogues and if you would be interested in planning such a dialogue we would like to hear from you email@example.com
A Custodians statement can emerge from a Custodian Dialogue and serves as a tool to help traditional communities advocate for recognition of their rights and responsibilities. A custodian statement can promote understanding of traditional values and ways of life, with groups such as conservation organisations, private companies and governments.
In 2008 at the IUCN world Conservation Congress several custodians came together to exchange experience and call on the conservation organisations to support their efforts in the conservation and revitalisation of their sacred natural sites and territories.
The custodians request other custodians and supporters to endorse the Custodian Statement on Sacred Natural Sites by leaving a comment or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org