This publication has been made possible in part by funding from IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and The Christensen Fund. The IUCN WCPA Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas, The Mountain Institute, Silene Association, Delos Initiative and Sacred Natural Sites Initiative, provided significant in-kind contributions.
The cultural and spiritual significance of nature has been defined as the spiritual, cultural, inspirational, aesthetic, historic and social meanings, values, feelings, ideas and associations that natural features and nature in general have for past, present and future generations of people – both individuals and groups. These guidelines respond to a growing need to make conservation more inclusive, effective and socially just by accommodating multiple worldviews; by treating natural and cultural heritage as interlinked; and by suggesting ways for engaging and empowering all relevant groups and stakeholders in protected area design, governance and management. The guidelines also assist with creating common ground, resolving conflicts and implementing rights-based approaches that recognise human rights and legal pluralism.
© 2021 IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Reproduction of this publication for educational or other non-commercial purposes is authorised without prior written permission from the copyright holder provided the source is fully acknowledged
This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
Locate the Document
Verschuuren B., Mallarach J-M., Bernbaum, E., Spoon J., Brown S., Borde R., Brown J., Calamia M., Mitchell N., Infield M and Lee E. (2021). Cultural and spiritual significance of nature. Guidance for protected and conserved area governance and management. Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 32, Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. XVI + 88pp.