Cultural and spiritual significance of nature in protected and conserved areas : The ‘deeply seated bond’

Brown, Steve; Verschuuren, B.


This chapter begins by referencing the work of Alexander von Humboldt because he was one of the first Western scholars to propose ideas of interconnectedness and wholeness, a holistic interplay of phenomena inclusive of the interrelationships between people and their environments and between nature and politics. It examines the origins and usage of the phrases 'cultural and spiritual values' and 'cultural and spiritual significance of nature'. These phrases are a central part of the work of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in recognising the role of, and engaging with, people in the governance and management of protected and conserved areas. From cultural heritage management and heritage studies perspectives, cultural value is typically used as an overarching expression for a range of different values—aesthetic, historic, scientific, social, or spiritual value as applied in the Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Burra Charter.