CSVPA has been actively contributing to shaping IUCN Policy. We have provided significant input for the recommendations of the 2003 and 2014 World Parks Congresses, the latter is called the Promise of Sydney. CSVPA has also worked with many allies and IUCN members in order to develop motions that, after voting by IUCN’s general Assembly at the 2008 and 2012 World Conservation Congress have been adopted as resolutions. Learn more about CSVPAs work on IUCN policy on this page.

IUCN members gathered at IUCN’s general assembly are voting on the motions.
(Photo courtesy of IUCN)

Policy Documents

Resolution 033: Recognising cultural & spiritual significance of nature in protected & conserved areas (2016)

REQUESTS the Director General, the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) through the joint CEESP/WCPA Theme on Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, Equity and Protected Areas (TILCEPA) and relevant partners, to:

a. develop and disseminate best practice guidelines and training modules for stakeholders that design, govern and manage protected and conserved areas, on the recognition and integration of the cultural and spiritual significance of nature; and

b. encourage institutions, protected area authorities and States to promote recognition and integration of the cultural and spiritual significance of nature in the governance and management of protected and conserved areas; and

CALLS ON IUCN Members and other actors to:

a. promote and implement guidance and training for protected and conserved area managers to build capacity and improve recognition of the role of cultural and spiritual significance of nature in the design, governance and management of protected and conserved areas; and

b. promote and adopt policies and strategies that (i) foster multicultural values and approaches to protected and conserved areas, (ii) foster full and effective participation and consent of indigenous peoples, local communities, site custodians, faith groups and the public, and (iii) emphasise rights-based approaches to conservation.


Promise of Sydney (2014)

The Promise of Sydney lists the outcomes and commitments from the World Parks Congress held in Australia Sydney in 2014. The document presented here contains 49 recommendations form the Promise of Sydney that are directly relevant to the work of CSVPA. The number  amounts to about one third of all recommendations made in the Promise of Sydney.

Each of the eight Streams and four themes of the Congress issued a separate document including three sections: (1) A promising future; (2) The current situation; (3) A strategy and recommendations for change. Most documents include numerous recommendations –in some cases over 30.

Although the themes that are more significant to the work of CSVPA are the ones on governance and respecting indigenous and traditional knowledge, most streams contain interesting recommendations. Only the Theme on marine protected areas included no recommendations directly related to the mission of CSVPA.

Please feel free to review this document ,prepared by CSVPA Steering Committee member Mr. Josep-Maria Mallarach, and send any comments that you may have to info@csvpa.org


Resolution 4.099: Recognition of the diversity of concepts and values of nature (2012)

This resolution requests the Director General of IUCN to promote the understanding of nature conservation as a human action is rooted in diverse cultures and evolving worldviews, and requests the Director General and the IUCN’s Commissions  to work with its members to:

  1. incorporate different ways of understanding the relationship between humans and the natural world in order to increase intercultural efforts for the conservation of nature;
  2. develop appropriate guidance to be able to fully recognize the diversity within ideas and values of nature and nature conservation; and where appropriate
  3. promote and support nature conservation actions that encompass practices and traditions that are rooted in local cultures and embody the cultural values of the diversity of peoples of the world.

Resolution 4.038: Recognition and conservation of sacred natural sites in protected areas (2012)

This resolution states that urgent action is necessary for the conservation and proper management of sacred natural sites that are within or close to protected areas. It calls on

  1. government agencies and non-governmental organizations to recognize the rights, abilities and knowledge possessed by local custodians, be they indigenous people or related to mainstream religions, in relation to the management of resources and ecosystems associated with sacred natural sites;
  2. conservation agencies to work with local communities and indigenous traditional communities and to support them in addressing threats to natural sites, through better management of these sites and the adoption of policies and legislation where appropriate;
  3. managers and bodies responsible for protected areas to recognize the cultural and spiritual values of sacred natural sites within the boundaries of these areas, and to recognize and promote the rights and interests of communities and organizations to manage and use wherever possible these sites as places for cultural and spiritual realization.

It also calls for additional investment in public education and international networks devoted to the conservation and protection of natural sites and appeals to the conservation community to promote and participate fully in intercultural dialogue and conflict resolution with indigenous peoples, local communities and mainstream religions to improve the collaborative protection of sacred natural sites.


Resolution 009: Encouraging cooperation with faith-based organizations and networks (2012)

This resolution recognizes that faith-based groups have become major players in global environmental issues, and that religion is one of the largest systems of human organization and meets the aspirations of humanity and its innate needs for spiritual satisfaction, a sense of life and a relationship with the cosmos. It also considers the importance, on the one hand, of valuing life and conservation from a standpoint of ethical principles of sustainability and social justice, and, on the other, of creating partnerships in conservation, managing land use and the formulation of appropriate responses in face of the challenges posed by climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

Therefore, the resolution urges the Director General of IUCN to promote cooperation with the religious organizations and networks that share the IUCN’s spirit and objectives of establishing partnerships for conservation, sustainability, the equitable distribution of resources and appropriate responses to the challenges posed by climate change.


Recommendation 147: Sacred natural sites – support for custodian protocols & customary laws (2008)

Recommendation calling on all IUCN State Members to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples to practise their cultural traditions and customs, (…); to engage indigenous peoples, local communities, faith groups and custodians of sacred natural sites and territories, to recognize their customary laws and cultural protocols in the management of sacred natural sites and territories, and to develop programmes that respect and endorse these customary laws and associated institutions (…).

The recommendation also urges State Members of IUCN and other national governments to develop appropriate policies, laws and programmes (…) that will allow custodians to continue, maintain and protect their sacred natural sites using their traditional practices and protocols (…), and recommends that all governments develop national legislation to makes these goals possible.


Recommendation v13: Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas (2003)

Resolution approved by the IUCN’s 5th World Parks Congress held in Durban (South Africa) in 2003 on the cultural and spiritual values of protected areas. This was the first specific resolution on this subject ever passed in an IUCN world congress.