Progress and News



[posted on 02 May 2008]


The Delos Initiative at the International workshop of the Task Force on Protected Landscape, North York Moors National Park, England, April-May 2008

The IUCN-International Task Force on Protected Landscapes, met in Scarborough, North York Moors National Park, England, UK, from 27th April to 1st May 2008, hosted by the National Park. Members of the Task Force come from North America, South America and The Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Four people from the Task Force on CSVPA were invited to participate by Jessica Brown, TF leader: Rob Wild, leader, Guillermo Rodrígez-Navarro, deputy-chair; Josep-Maria Mallarach, for the joint co-ordination of The Delos Initiative, and Gloria Pungetti, director of the Cambridge Centre for Landscape.

Themes of common interest and positives synergies between both Task Forces and the Theme on Indigenous and Local Communities, Equity and protected Areas were present since the beginning of the workshop until the Symposium of the last day, which gathered a good representation of managers from several national parks of England and Scotland.

Josep-Maria Mallarach presented the work done by The Delos Initiative during the last four years, as well as the volume on cultural and spiritual values of protected landscapes he is currently editing, the second volume of the Values of Protected Landscapes series.

In addition to the TF members, several participants discussed sacred natural sites during their presentations: Gregorio Ch’oc focused in the struggles of native people of Belize to conserve sacred sites and the significance of using the concept of “Mother Earth” instead of nature. Neema Pathak presented a number of sacred groves of India found in community conserved areas. Prabdhu Budhathoki discussed the significance of sacred values of nature in Nepal. Finally, Carmen Miranda, WCPA Regional Vice-Chair for South America presented sacred wetlands in the Peruvians Andes, which had been carefully managed during centuries by indigenous people, some of which are under threat because of modern mining activities.

During the Symposium, an unexpected debate arouse about the role of the spiritual values of nature conservation, and the fact that most of these values are more or less hidden in the present day protected areas of Britain. A number of suggestions were discussed, mainly the possibilities that arts offer to try to reconnect people with the deepest values of nature.