Second international workshop of the Delos Initiative: the sacred dimension of protected areas
Ouranoupolis, Greece 24-28 October 2007
The second seminar of the Delos Initiative, organised by the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (Mediterranean-INA), was held in Ouranoupolis, a small village near the Monastery of Athos in northeast Greece on 24-28 October 2007. This meeting was a continuation of the activities presented at the first seminar of the Delos Initiative of the IUCN’s Task Force on the Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas held in November 2006 at the Monastery of Montserrat in Catalonia (Spain).
Twelve case studies from ten different countries (Romania, Greece, USA, Italy, Spain, Australia, Russia, Morocco, South Korea and Bulgaria) were presented and analysed as means of developing a line of directives for sacred natural areas in technologically developed countries. The Silene Association collaborated in the drafting and presentation of the case studies of the monasteries of Santa Maria de Poblet, Sakya Ling (both Spain) and Rila (Bulgaria).
The participants’ interest was centred on finding ways of reinforcing the joint conservation of natural and spiritual heritage in the areas included in the case studies. The conclusions from the workshops can be found in the Ouranoupolis Declaration, a document that contains the lessons learnt from the case studies, the agreements taken regarding the management of monastic lands, the strategic directions to be followed in sacred natural areas in technologically developed countries, and the actions to be carried out by the Delos Initiative at the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress to be held in October 2008.
Of special interest is the message sent by the Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, in which the Patriarch congratulates the organisers of the seminar for having included lines of work that involve the care and management of monastic lands.