[posted on 06 October 2008]
Delos Initiative during 2005-2008
following report summarises the progress achieved since the
establishment of the Delos Initiative:
Presentation of the Delos Initiative at the International Symposium on
‘Conserving Cultural and Biological Diversity: The Role of Sacred
Natural Sites and Cultural Landscapes’. This important event was
organised in Tokyo from 30 May to 2 June 2005 by UNESCO, the United
Nations University and IUCN.
Presentation of the Delos Initiative at the European Nature Conference,
held in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, on 21-25 September 2005. This was
the first time that Eurosite and the Europarc Federation organised a
joint annual conference in Europe.
Preparation of a project pilot entitled ‘Delos1: Significance of pilot
sacred natural sites in technologically developed countries’, after a
broad consultation among the Steering Group members and other experts.
The proposal was submitted for funding to potential donors.
Preparation of a questionnaire for site analysis to be completed through
interviews with local personalities in each site, both secular and
Application of the questionnaire in two pilot sites, after in situ
missions and interviews with various stakeholders:
- in Meteora,
Greece, a magnificent natural area with monasteries built on natural
Catalonia, Spain, the sacred mountain of Montserrat with its famous
established for the inclusion of additional sites in the pilot plan in
Europe, North America and Japan.
Preliminary contacts for the preparation of the workshop in 2006 at the
monastery of Montserrat, nested in the holy mountain of Montserrat (a
Natural Park and Nature Reserve), Catalonia, Spain, including the search
for potential donors.
Participation in he 11th Conference of
the Spanish Section of
Narcea, Asturias, Spain, 8-12 of June 2005. Four recommendations were
adopted by the assembly:
of a new section devoted to non material values in the Action Plan for
Protected Areas of Spain, during the evaluation process, within the
framework of the existing cooperation agreement between Europarc
Federation and IUCN. To that end, promotion of a workshop or seminar to
define its content and methodology.
- Promotion of the identification of non material values of nature, both
cultural and spiritual, and their adequate inclusion in the management
plans of protected areas.
- Promotion of the acknowledgment of relationship between local
population and visitors and maintenance of traditional activities as
essential elements of the conservation of biodiversity.
- Promotion of the inclusion of educational policies in the management
of protected areas with specific programs, aimed at young people,
related to non material values of nature in a didactic manner.
- Support of the Delos Initiative, and facilitation of the development
of its case-studies in Spain from the Technical Office of Europarc-Spain.
Identification of additional pilot sites and on-site investigation
through an improved questionnaire.
Preparation of consolidated reports on the natural sacred sites
Preparation and organisation of the 1st Delos Workshop in the
Montserrat Monastery in Catalonia 23-26 November 2006 and first
substantial conclusions from the work carried out on the pilot sites,
which led to the Montserrat Statement. The workshop secretariat was
undertaken by Silene Association and was funded
by the Board
of the Mountain of Montserrat, the Ministry for the Environment and
Housing of Catalonia, and the Fundació Territori i Paisatge of Caixa
Catalunya Savings Bank.
Preparation of the publication of the proceedings of the Montserrat
workshop with the same sponsors of the workshop.
Presentation of the Delos Initiative at the
of the Spanish State Section of Europarc, with more than 180
participants, representing agencies in charge of protected areas from 15
different Autonomous Communities and the Central Government of Spain.
The opening session was devoted to the presentation of the results of
the performance evaluation of the Action Plan for the Protected Areas of
Spain during 2002-2005. One of the conclusions of this evaluation, which
was approved by the Assembly, was the need for revising and updating the
Action Plan in order to include, among other items, the spiritual and
cultural values of protected areas, both at the planning and management
Activities during 2007
Publication and dissemination of the Montserrat Workshop proceedings by
IUCN and the Abbey of Montserrat.
2. Work on
the Delos contribution to the UNESCO / IUCN draft Guidelines for sacred
Identification of additional members of the work group, and new,
representative case studies from other countries, religions, faiths, and
Protected Areas types, and preparation of relevant reports.
Participation at several international conferences and events, such as
the 2007 IUCN Almeria Summit on IUCN categories of Protected Areas,
Spain, the 2007 3S Conference in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Preparation and organisation of the Delos2 Workshop, in Ouranoupolis,
Halkidiki, Greece, on 24-28 October 2007, including identification of
additional case studies and funding sources. It was attended by
participants from 11 countries and 12 case-studies were presented. The
theme of the workshop was to ‘provide guidance for sacred natural sites
in developed countries’. The workshop secretariat was undertaken by
Med-INA (the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos) and was
with the support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation.
Preparation of the Delos2 Proceedings. The volume, which will be a joint
publication of IUCN and Med-INA, will be in press in early 2009.
Contribution to the preparation and participation in the World
Conservation Congress of IUCN: knowledge café, presentations in the TF
alliance workshop, poster and field trips.
invitation of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs of Morocco -on the
initiative of Delos working group member Zakia Zouanat- assessment and
recommendations by Gonzalo Oviedo and Josep-Maria Mallarach for the
shrine of Moulay ‘Abd al-Salâm ibn Mashîsh, in Jabal La’lâm, Site of
Biological and Ecological Interest of Jbel Bouhachem. Integration of SNS
status in the protected area policy of Morocco,
Participation in the WCPA Durban +5 meeting in cape Town, South-Africa.
Participation in the International workshop of the Task Force on
Protected Landscape, North York Moors National Park, England presenting
the Delos Initiative approach and methodology.
Participation in the 2008 First Conference of Carpathian Network of
Protected Areas and the Europarc Congress, held in Poiana Brasov,
Transylvania, Romania, leading a workshop on the integration of
intangible cultural heritage of protected areas, contributing to the
mid-term work plan of the Carpathians Convention.
Participation in the Europarc Congress, held in Poiana Brasov,
Transylvania, Romania, leading a workshop regarding the Delos Initiative
Presentation of the Sacred Natural Site concept, the Delos Initiative,
and the particular application of the SNS concept in Vanatori-Neamt
Natural Park by Razvan Deju, on the 22nd
of May, during a national meeting in Bucharest, in the context of the
European Day of Parks. The Management Plan of the Vanatori-Neamt Natural
Park had already adopted the Sacred Natural Site concept in 2007. The
Management Plan of the Buila Vanturarita Natural Park, is currently
being finalised, making it the second Romanian site following its
Natural Parks are case studies of The Delos Initiative.
Collaboration on the elaboration of the Volume on Cultural and Spiritual
Values of Protected Landscapes,
edited by Josep-Maria Mallarach. It includes sixteen case studies from
all over the world, of which four come from the Delos Initiative
network. Seven authors of chapters are members of the Delos working
group. Three of the four Editorial Advisory team members of this volume
are members of the Task Force of Cultural and Spiritual Values of
Protected Areas: Rob Wild, Thymio Papayannis and Fausto Sarmiento