Sacred Natural Sites
Conserving Nature and Culture
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About the author
Bas Verschuuren serves as Co-chair with IUCN's Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas, and is a scientist and facilitator with EarthCollective. Bas has over 10 years of international experience integrating cultural and spiritual values in conservation management and policy. Robert G. Wild is an ecologist and social scientist with 25 years practical experience of working with communities at protected areas in East Africa, Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Europe. He is chair of the IUCN's Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas.Jeffrey A. McNeely is Senior Science Advisor at the International Union for Conservation of Nature. He has worked in international conservation for over forty years and has written or edited dozens of books on a wide range of topics that include cultural values of nature. Gonzalo Oviedo is an anthropologist and environmentalist and works as Senior Adviser for Social Policy at the International Union for Conservation of Nature facilitating the integration of social issues in conservation work worldwide. Gonzalo focuses on livelihood security, culture, rights and governance.
Sacred Natural Sites are the world's oldest protected places. This book focuses on a wide spread of both iconic and lesser known examples such as sacred groves of the Western Ghats (India), Sagarmatha /Chomolongma (Mt Everest, Nepal, Tibet - and China), the Golden Mountains of Altai (Russia), Holy Island of Lindisfarne (UK) and the sacred lakes of the Niger Delta (Nigeria). The book illustrates that sacred natural sites, although often under threat, exist within and outside formally recognised protected areas, heritage sites. Sacred natural sites may well be some of the last strongholds for building resilient networks of connected landscapes. They also form important nodes for maintaining a dynamic socio-cultural fabric in the face of global change. The diverse authors bridge the gap between approaches to the conservation of cultural and biological diversity by taking into account cultural and spiritual values together with the socio-economic interests of the custodian communities and other relevant stakeholders.
Taylor and Francis
; June 2012
336 pages; ISBN 9781136530746Read online
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Title: Sacred Natural Sites
Author: Bas Verschuuren; Jeffrey McNeely; Gonzalo Oviedo; Robert Wild
In the press
'This book is being published in the International Year of Biodiversity, which gives it special importance as an expression of the special relationship between people and the rest of nature. It offers us an opportunity to remind ourselves of the deep and meaningful relationships that many religions and faith communities have with nature, demonstrated by their devotion to sacred natural sites such as those described in these pages.'Julia Marton-Lef�vre, Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland'If science is to serve life on this planet, we need more than just intellectual rigour, we also need ethical vigour. That demands values. But what might inform these? One basis is that which human experience has termed 'the sacred'. For some, 'the sacred' is a hypothetical concept. For others, it is a function of empirical experience in consciousness. Either way, this milestone of a book shows that the impact on nature conservation can be hugely positive, inviting scholarly critique and appreciation.'Professor Alastair McIntosh, Centre for Human Ecology, University of Strathclyde, UK and author of Soil and Soul'Sacred Natural Sites sports an international all-star cast and concise, no-nonsense chapters. The study of sacred natural areas has come of age, and this is the book to prove it.'Fikret Berkes, Distinguished Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Manitoba, and the author of Sacred Ecology