CSVPA primarily advises the IUCN and the World Commission Protected Areas but is also involved with policy development with a broad range of partners such as UNESCO World Heritage, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention.
CSVPA and IUCN Policy

CSVPA develops motions, resolutions, recommendations and best practice Guidelines that become part of the IUCN policy and its guidance for implementation. Read more →

The UNESCO World Heritage convention (1972)

Advised by ICOMOS and ICROMM, on cultural heritage and by IUCN, on natural heritage and mixed world heritage sites. In this context, a number of tasks are undertaken:

  • UNESCO Initiative on Sites of Religious Interest (2010): CSVPA Steering Committee members Josep-Maria Mallarach and Vita de Waal officially represent IUCN in the development of this programme. A key word search database and a positioning paper are currently being developed.
  • Several CVSPA members contributed to the review of WHS Criterion vii on “superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance” which resulted in this publication that clarifies its application to the state parties.
  • CSVPA liaises directly with the IUCN World Heritage Programme and its members undertake desktop reviews and monitoring missions of World Heritage sites with a focus on cultural and spiritual significance of nature.
  • CSVPA members contribute to a number of projects on World Heritage with special attention for cultural and spiritual significance of nature such as:
Convention on Biological Diversity (1992).

IUCN has observation status to the climate conventions. CSVPA provided input to the CBD article 8j on Traditional Knowledge, article 10c on traditional use, The Programme of World on Protected Areas and organized several side events during the conventions conference of the parties to promote the cultural and spiritual values of protected areas and the recognition of sacred natural sites.

The Ramsar Convention (1971).

CSVPA Steering Committee member Thymio Papayannis and member David Pritchard have been supporting the development of the Ramsar Wetlands and Culture Network. This is part of a larger effort to promote culture under the Ramsar convention, visit culture and wetlands for more information.

At the CBD COP 12 in Hyderabad India on the 16th of October a session “Protecting the Sacred and the Spiritual” facilitated an expert panel including several CSVPA members (see photo) that will considered current standards relevant to protecting the spiritual and cultural values of biodiversity and whether further standards are needed. Attention was given to the role of Indigenous Peoples and Faith–based Institutions in achieving the Aichi Targets and possible new efforts needed to promote environmentally friendly green pilgrimages and management of sacred natural sites.