From June 11 to 16 of this year the International Nature Conservation Academy of the German Federal Ministry for Nature Conservation (BfN) again hosted a very productive workshop on the island of Vilm to develop an IUCN Best Practice Guidelines volume on the topic. The workshop builds on the success from last year’s’ workshops held in Vilm and at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii where a resolution in support of the work was adopted by IUCNs’ council. Some 25 participants from all over the world worked on getting a draft of the publication ready for peer-review by a broader conservation audience. Have look at last year’s workshops’ video-report here.
The CSVPA programme on the cultural and spiritual significance of nature in the governance and management of protected areas is moving forward. CSVPA Co-Chair Bas Verschuuren explains: “These are exciting times, because the volume is the first that is part of the world leading IUCN Best Practice Guidelines Series to address the cultural and spiritual significance of nature so prominently.” In addition, the volume will be complemented with a book that will offer deeper philosophical background, case studies and an overview of cutting edge policy developments. Some 50 plus authors are currently writing up their chapters with striking examples of the value of implementation in the best practice guidelines.
Over the past year several online case studies have also been developed [add hyperlink: https://csvpa.org/cultural-spiritual-nature-programme/case-studies-examples/ ]. “Together with the book chapters and numerous other case studies that have been developed through CSVPA over the years, these case studies will be used as instructive illustrations in the best practice guidelines.” According to Josep-Maria Mallarach, who has previously developed similar types of guidelines for protected areas in Spain. Additional examples will be solicited from a wider audience, during the extensive peer review that will take place over the second half of 2017.
During the workshop, the participants were directly working on the guidelines that had been made ready for this purpose based on the work that had been done during the previous workshop. There were many interactive working groups but also case study presentations, on sacred places in Buthan by Lisa Higgins –Zogib (Diverse Earth), the Subak system in Bali, by Wiwik Dhamarishan (Udayana University), and on management of the Muwuvi ancestral territories in the USA by Jeremy Spoon (Portland State University, The Mountain Institute). The evening programme was filled with discussion and key-notes on the Mt. Kailash World Heritage nomination, by Ed Bernbaum (Co-chair of CSVPA) and on Meaningful Nature Experience by Mathew Zylstra (EarthCollective).
Should you be interested in contributing to the project, or if you know of others who might, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our next challenge will be to find field locations for testing the best practice guidelines and developing training modules to assist with their implementation. Any suggestion on funding the development of the training modules and finding places to test them would be most appreciated