Christian Monastic Lands as Protected Landscapes and Community Conserved Areas: An Overview
J-M Mallarach, J. Corcó & T. Papayannis2016
Using a literature review, diverse types of research and empirical evidence, this paper explores whether the essential features of the Indigenous peoples’ and community conserved territories and areas (ICCAs) and the criteria of the Protected Landscape Approach are met in Christian monastic territories. Inspired by spiritual principles and applying traditional ecological knowledge, monastic communities developed distinctive natural resource management models, resulting in beautiful, harmonious and diverse landscapes for many centuries. In many countries, modern protected areas have been established on the sites of existing or former monastic lands, thereby creating positive synergies but also new challenges both for conservation and for the monastic communities. This paper shows that monastic communities are one of the oldest self-organized communities with a continuous written record in conservation management. Most Christian monastic conserved lands should be considered community conserved areas usually Category V – Protected Landscapes. The paper also argues that monastic communities’ experiences in adapting to and overcoming environmental and economic crises is relevant to both managers and policy-makers involved in protected and high biodiversity areas, especially in regions where the protected landscape approach may be more effective.
Josep-Maria Mallarach, Josep Corcó and Thymio Papayannis (2016) Christian Monastic Lands as Protected Landscapes and Community Conserved Areas: An Overview. Parks Journal, IUCN. Volume 22.1: 63-78.