[posted on 18 June 2010]


International Contact Forum on Habitat Conservation in the Barents Region (HCF VI)


The sixth Meeting of the International Contact Forum on Habitat Conservation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region, further HCF VI, was organized on 1-4 of June in 2010, in Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation, the week ending with the celebration of the World Environment Day.


HCF VI, organised under the chairmanship of Russian Federation (2008-2010), was held according to the recommendations of previous forum meetings; Trondheim 1999, Petrozavodsk 2001, Kuhmo 2003, Syktyvkar 2005, Umeĺ 2008. HCF activities are a part of the activities of the Nature Protection Subgroup of the Working Group of Environment of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region, this year under Swedish Chairmanship.


As stated in the Declaration of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council Ninth Meeting of the Ministers of the Environment 17.02.2010 in Tromso, Norway, the on-going Year of Biodiversity should activate the implementation of the commitments of the BEAC countries under the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands, and the UNESCO Convention on World Heritage Properties.


The meeting recognised the significance of the upcoming 10th Conference on the Parties (COP) meeting of the Convention of Biological Diversity (Japan October, 2010).


The HCF VI, gathering in total 100 participants, presented expert reviews and discussed on the following seven topics:


1. Protection of Wetlands

2. Protection of Boreal Forests and Sustainable Use of Forests

3. Network of Protected Areas in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (BPAN)

4. The Pyoza River basin as a prospective object of international cooperation in preserving old-growth forests and nature complexes

5. Marine and Coastal ecosystems

6. Synergy of Natural and Spiritual Values

7. Next Forum


More specifically, regarding the 6th topic the following text was included in the relevant Resolution:



6. Synergy of Natural and Spiritual Values

The HCF VI expressed the need to take the cultural and spiritual values into consideration when establishing protected areas, and to encourage the use of local folk art expressing the intangible values of nature and society. The HCF VI welcomed the application of the UNESCO- IUCN Guidelines on Sacred Natural Sites and the Delos Initiative, and expressed the support for the next workshop to be convened in Inari, Finland.




[posted on 06 October 2008]


The Delos Initiative during 2005-2008

The following report summarises the progress achieved since the establishment of the Delos Initiative:

 Activities during 2005 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Preparation of a questionnaire for site analysis to be completed through interviews with local personalities in each site, both secular and religious.

5. 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 megaliths;

- in Catalonia, Spain, the sacred mountain of Montserrat with its famous monastery.

6. Contacts established for the inclusion of additional sites in the pilot plan in Europe, North America and Japan. more



[posted on 18 June 2006]


ESPARC - 2006. Vall de Boí, Catalonia, Spain 14-17 of June 2006

The12th Conference of the Spanish State Section of Europarc had over 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 present 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 levels. For more information visit:

During the Conference Jordi Falgarona and Josep M. Mallarach had the opportunity to discuss the work of the CSVPA and The Delos initiative approach with representatives of different Agencies. As a result of that, there were identified new exciting opportunities to include the spiritual and cultural values in the planning of four protected areas already established, which are under way.


[posted on 12 June 2006]


11th Conference of the Spanish Section of EUROPARC


Cangas de Narcea, Asturias, Spain, 8-12 of June 2005




PANEL 4:  Non material values linked to natural protected areas

1. Integration of non material values, both cultural and spiritual, in the methods and strategies of planning and management of protected areas would help to incorporate social agents and social feelings that have been marginalized until the present, in to the conservation of biodiversity and protected areas in general.

2. The population’s living link with sites of significant spiritual value may contribute to the conservation of protected areas where they usually are found.

3. The acknowledgement of the ecological traditional knowledge in the planning and management of protected areas produces multiple benefits to the sustainable use of natural resources and values traditional crafts and  people that still know them.

Recommendations for  EUROPARC - Spain

  • Include 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, promote a workshop or seminar to define its content and methodology.
  • Promote the identification of non material values of nature, both cultural and spiritual, and its adequate inclusion in the management plans of protected areas.
  • Promote the acknowledgment of relationship between local population and visitors and the maintenance of traditional activities as essential elements of the conservation of biodiversity.
  • Promote the inclusion of educational policies in protected areas management with specific programs, aimed to young people, to deal with the non material values of nature in a didactic manner.
  • Give formal support to The Delos Initiative, and facilitate the development of its case studies in Spain from the Technical Office of EUROPARC-Spain.

The original in Spanish can be downloaded at: