Third International Workshop of The Delos Initiative
Anar / Aanaar / Inari, Lapland, Finland2009-2010
Since 2009, the Silene Association collaborated with Metsahällitus and Med-INA in the preparation of the third international workshop of the Delos Initiative, which took place from June 30 to July 4, 2010 in the village of Anar/Aanaar/Inari (the northernmost of Finnish Lapland).
Organized jointly by the Delos Initiative and the Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Service, which hosted the meeting, with the support of the Ministry of the Environment and the IUCN National Committee of Finland. The meetings and workshops were carried out at the Sami Museum and Siida Nature Center, ran from Lake Aanar / Anaar / Inari. Several representatives of the Sami natives participated as speakers and observers. Inaugural speeches were given by Finland’s Sami Parliament President, Klemetti Näkkäläjärvi, of the Sami Museum Director, Tarmo Jomppanen, and the Head of the Natural Heritage Service of Metsahällitus, Rauno Väisänen, who welcomed the thirties of Participants from 14 European countries: Spain, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The sessions addressed the diversity of sacred natural spaces in Europe, including sacred places of ancient civilizations, those linked to minority religions, or others that are connected by pilgrimage paths. The recovery and the creation of new sacred natural spaces were also debated and the case of the territories managed by Christian and Buddhist monastic communities. A session was held to evaluate the applicability of the UICN-UNESCO (2008) guidelines on holy natural sites, for managers of protected natural areas. The program included a visit to sacred island of Ukonsaari, and an excursion on foot to the wooden church of Pielpajärvi, located within a wildlife refuge. The case study of Ukonsaari had already been presented at the first seminar of the Delos Initiative, held in the monastery of Montserrat in 2006.
The proceedings of this workshop were published in the form of a book in 2011, with a prologue by the Lutheran archbishop of Finland, Kari Mäkinen. The Silene association collaborated in its edition, similar to the previous workshops. The volume was also released in PDF format, and can be downloaded for free from the websites of Silene, the Delos Initiative and the IUCN Publications Service.