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IUCN General Assembly approves SNS-related motions – Jeju, South Korea, September 2012

IUCN General Assembly approves SNS-related motions – Jeju, South Korea, September 2012

The General Assembly of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), held in the World Conservation Congress at the island of Jeju, South Korea, approved two significant motions in relation with the spiritual dimension of nature: the first encouraging cooperation with faith organisations and networks, and the second on Sacred Natural Sites, supporting custodian protocols and customary laws in the face of global threats and challenges.

Motion M-009 requests the Director General of IUCN to encourage cooperation with faith-based organisations and networks that share IUCN’s spirit and objectives in order to establish partnerships in conservation, sustainability, equitable sharing and use of resources and appropriate responses to climate change threats.

Motion M-054 calls all IUCN State Members to recognise the rights of indigenous peoples to practise their cultural traditions and customs, to engage indigenous peoples, local communities, faith groups and custodians of sacred natural sites and territories, to recognise their customary laws and cultural protocols for the management of sacred natural sites and territories, and to develop programmes that respect and endorse these customary laws and associated institutions. The Motion also urges State Members of IUCN and other national governments to develop appropriate policies, laws and programmes that allow custodians to continue to maintain and protect their sacred natural sites using their traditional practices and protocols and recommends that all governments develop national legislation that will make these goals possible.

The last motion follows and develops a similar motion on the Recognition and Conservation of Sacred Natural Sites in Protected Areas, which was approved at the last General Assembly held in the WCC of Barcelona, Spain, in 2008.