The Silene Association
Silene is a non-profit association established in Catalonia, whose mission is to study, disseminate and promote the intangible (spiritual and cultural) heritage and its associated values in relation to Nature and its conservation, especially in natural protected areas.
To become a reference entity in the promotion of the values and meanings that make up the intangible spiritual and cultural heritage linked to Nature, as well as its integration in various areas of the conservation of species, spaces, landscapes, and in implementing realted stratgeies in interested organizations
The values that inspire Silene govern its positioning and configure the guidelines of its activities.
• Humility is one of the fundamental values that motivated the choice of the name of the association: a discreet and humble flower that grows in stony places, often near trails, avoiding difficulties to show its beauty.
• Spirituality, consubstantial with the human being through which we realize that we are part of Something that transcends us, and that links us and connects us with the rest of reality, with all living beings, visible and invisible, propelling us to transcendence and communion.
• Sobriety understood as the art of vital moderation, which allows us to enjoy healthily, in a fruitful way, and which links us from a perspective of universal solidarity with humanity, life and the cosmos.
• Deep contact with Nature as an essential component of our well-being and integral development (physical, psychological and spiritual), from which the option for naturalness derives.
• Acknowledging Nature as a teacher, who always speaks to us, sometimes clearly and sometimes subtly, when we have a receptive attitude to listen her, to read fundamental truths in their symbols and manifestations.
• The synergy to act whenever we can in collaboration with other organisations or people, trying to catalyze changes in the direction of our vision, while promoting values that intimately connect human beings with Nature.
Who are the members of Silene?
The Silene association has three types of members: active, collaborators and sponsors. The active members, which constitute the current working group, are the following:
Josep-Maria Mallarach, Chairman. In 2004, together with Thymio Papayannis, they created the Delos Initiative, focusing on sacred natural sites of technologically developed countries. Since then he is a member of the IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas and of the Steering Committee of the Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas. He leads a postgraduate course on Spiritual Meanings and Values of Nature, at the University of Girona, Catalonia, and teaches on this subject in other Spanish universities. Josep Maria has authored, co-authored or edited numerous books (five in English) and papers. He holds a Degree in Geology, a Master’s in Environmental Sciences and a PhD in Biology-Environment.
Xavier Perarnau – Vice president. He has studied Anthropology and Philosophy and Postgraduate in Spiritual meanings and values of Nature. Lover of the arts and the mountain, deepens and promotes the knowledge and activities of the triad Nature-Art-Spirituality in resonance with the conception of Ecosophy or Spiritual Ecology. It promotes the Esperit de Cura initiative and is Secretary of the Center of Art and Nature of Farrera.
Nieves Callado – Secretary. Interested in the symbolic relationship between human being and nature and the deep connection established throughout history, specifically in sacred geography and pilgrimages. She is driving force of “Endinsa’t”, a project to promote social integration, and the integral well-being through nature and spirituality. Nowadays, she studies natural geometry and energetic quality in sacred sites. She has a degree in Environmental Sciences, a Master’s Degree in Protected Natural Areas and a postgraduate in Spiritual Meanings and Values of Nature.
Pau Sanosa -Treasurer. He has researched and worked on the issues of traditional governance, mainly in communal pastoralist systems, and the cultural and spiritual values of high mountain landscapes. Since 2016, the IICN has coordinated the group of young professionals of the Group Specialist in Cultural and Spiritual Values of protected natural areas. He holds a degree in environmental sciences, a master’s degree in Natural Protected Areas and a doctorate in anthropology.
Laia S.Llongueres – Vocal for visual communication
Design and coordination of Silene’s new website. Collaborating facilitating the integration of content through the symbolic language of the arts. Combines research and pedagogy through experiential workshops on Nature. Forest Therapy Guide for Selvans. Teacher at postgraduate cours: Formació Guiatge en Boscos Terapèutics at Universitat de Girona. Coordinates the Holy Interiorcy Cycle, Mysticism through different spiritual Traditions, at the Monastery of Sant Pere de les Puelles in Barcelona, 2018-2019.
Francesc Bellaubí – Vocal. For more than twenty years, he has provided technical assistance to development organizations and international agencies, NGOs and research institutions from different countries in the Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific in the management of natural resources. After earning his doctorate in Natural Sciences, he devoted himself to research on geoethics and integrity as well as spiritual activism. Based in Berlin.
Jaume Estarellas – Vocal. Environmental biologist. As IUCN Delos Initiative team member, he participated in the preparation of the case studies of Doñana National Park and Montsant Natural Park. Contributor to the guidance manual for integrating cultural and spiritual values into protected natural areas, published by Silene and Europarc-Spain in 2012. He is a senior civil servant at the Ibiza Island Council, Balearis Islands, Spain, involved in biodiversity conservation and environmental management and protection.