Culture and Wetlands
Sacred Natural Sites
Partners and Activities
Sacred Natural Sites

Sacred natural sites are places where biodiversity meets spirituality. They are natural areas considered sacred by people in some way, and are often protected. It has been noted worldwide that the sacred aspect of these places appears to have acted as a safeguard against biodiversity loss, and can therefore contribute to their conservation.

Most spiritual traditions recognize the importance of protecting nature and of passing on the environment to coming generations in good condition through the notion of stewardship. Some religions even equate nature with ‘Creation’ itself. To this end they have included tenets and recommendations for the protection of the natural environment in their doctrines. The establishment of some of the world’s first protected areas, such as himas in the Middle East, can be traced back to religious concerns for the environment. This intrinsic relationship between spirituality and the natural world can be harnessed to enhance conservation efforts, and promise a more sustainable future for sacred natural sites.