Planning of Sacred Natural Sites in Protected Areas, Highlands of Western Guatemala
Secaira, Estuardo; Molina, María Elena2005
The Nature Conservancy has contributed significantly to the development of the methodology and tools to be used in strategic planning for the conservation of biodiversity throughout the world. As part of its methodology for planning in two municipal parks in the mountains of western Guatemala (home to an important cultural and natural heritage), the Guatemalan section of this organisation decided to adapt the methodology so as to include the conservation of tangible cultural elements as one of the parks’ objectives.
Various workshops with anthropologists were held aimed at including intangible cultural objectives in these parks’ activities as a means of analysing their cultural and spiritual values, knowledge and use of traditional practices, social institutions, spirituality (from worldview and ceremonial rites, to sacred sites), collective memory and cultural traditions and customs. For all these aspects, quantifiable indicators and objectives were established to analyse their effectiveness. As well, the main threats to the area and opportunities were identified and certain strategies were prioritised. Finally, the conclusions and recommendations are described in the article. Also included in the article is a description of the planning methodology and how each of its parts is adapted to the conservation of tangible and intangible cultural objectives, with special importance being given to sacred sites.
Secaira, Estuardo; Molina, María Elena. “Planning of Sacred Natural Sites in the Context of Protected Areas: An adaptation of a Methodology for Biodiversity and lessons from its application in the Highlands of Western Guatemala” [On-line]. In: International Symposium “Conserving Cultural and Biological Diversity: The Role of Sacred Natural Sites and Cultural Landscapes”: Tokyo (Japan), 30 May – 2 June 2005. pp. 73-79. <http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2006-053.pdf> [Consulted: 26 September 2012].