Sacred natural sites can be mountains, rivers, forests, trees and rocks that have special spiritual significance to Indigenous peoples. To Indigenous peoples these places are not just part of their environment, culture and spirituality but they also form their worldviews and ethnicities.
Based on applied ethnographic research on sacred natural sites in Ghana, Australia and Guatemala, I look at how Indigenous people’s realities can be integrated into conservation approaches and how they can lead to the co-creation of new forms of nature conservation were nature and culture are more balanced.
I use concepts the conceptual domains of rights-based approaches, biocultural diversity and ontological plurality to focus on how a common ground is being created by Indigenous peoples and development and conservation actors. I argue that this common ground has the capacity to transform conservation practice, management and policy if different worldviews, including those of Indigenous peoples, are equally considered.