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Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature in Protected Areas


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1. Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature in Protected and Conserved Areas: The 'deeply seated bond' Steve Brown and Bas Verschuuren PART I: CONCEPTS 2. Implications of the Diversity of Concepts and Values of Nature in the Management and Governance of Protected and Conserved Areas Josep-Maria Mallarach, Fabrizio Frascaroli, Will Tuladhar-Douglas, Jonathan Liljeblad, Radhika Borde, Edwin Bernbaum, and Bas Verschuuren 3. Meaningful Nature Experiences: Pathways for deepening connections between people and place Matthew J. Zylstra 4. Mainstream Faith Participation in Protected and Conserved Areas Martin Palmer 5. Spiritual Governance as an Indigenous Behavioural Practice: Implications for protected and conserved areas John Studley and Peter Horsley 6. Exploring the Usefulness of Nature/Culture Convergences in World Heritage: The case of authenticity Kristal Buckley 7. Buddhism and the Management of Sacred Sites for Biodiversity Will Tuladhar-Douglas 8. The Significance of Indigenous Nature Spirituality Radhika Borde 9. The Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature: Involving the general public in the management and governance of protected areas Edwin Bernbaum PART II: POLICY AND PRACTICE 10. Connecting Practice: Defining new methods and strategies to further integrate natural and cultural heritage under the World Heritage Convention Leticia Leitao, Leanna Wigboldus, Gwenaelle Bourdin, Tim Badman, Zsuzsa Tolnay, and Oscar Mthimkhulu 11. Entangled Landscapes: Connecting conservation practices for naturecultures in the Mongolian Altai Steve Brown and Bas Verschuuren 12. Culture and Nature: The case of the Ramsar Convention on wetlands Dave Pritchard 13. Developing Guidelines for Integrating Cultural and Spiritual Values into the Protected Areas of Spain Josep-Maria Mallarach, Marta Mugica, Alberto de Armas, and Eulalia Comas 14. Managing Religious Pilgrimage to Sacred Sites in Indian Protected Areas Chantal Elkin, Sanjay Rattan, Soubadra Devy, and Ganesh Thyagarajan PART III: CASE STUDIES 15. China's Community Fengshui Forests: Spiritual ecology and nature conservation Chris Coggins, Jesse Minor, Bixia Chen, Yaoqi Zhang, Peter Tiso, James Lam, and Cem Gultekin 16. Father Forest: Batwa culture and the management of national parks in Uganda's Albertine Rift Medard Twinamatsiko, Mark Infield, and Arthur Mugisha 17. Kaio, kapwier, nepek, and nuk: Human and non-human agency and 'conservation' on Tanna, Vanuatu James L. Flexner, Lamont Lindstrom, Francis Hickey, and Jacob Kapere 18. Exploring Spiritual and Religious Values in Landscapes of Production: Lessons and examples from Italy Fabrizio Frascaroli and Thora Fjeldsted 19. The Nature of Attachment: An Australian experience Steve Brown 20. Reflections on the Spiritual and Relational Contexts of Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature in Protected and Conserved Areas Bas Verschuuren and Steve Brown

About the Author

Bas Verschuuren is a freelance biocultural adviser and associate researcher at the Department of Sociology of Development and Change at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He combines his experience in conservation projects with applied research on the cultural, spiritual, and sacred dimensions of nature in management and policy. Steve Brown is an honorary associate with the Museum and Heritage Studies Program at the University of Sydney, Australia. His research interests include: conceptualising and operationalising place-attachment in heritage theory and practice; the integration of naturecultures in the heritage management of protected areas; and the material culture of domestic homes and gardens.


'At the heart of this book is the contributors' desire to make conservation more sustainable, equitable and effective by engaging with deeply held cultural and spiritual values to inspire action to conserve cultural, geological and biological diversity. In many places their passions for this mission shines through' - Helen Schneider, Fauna and Flora International, Cambridge, UK (

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