What is Indigenous Sacred Natural Sites?
“A sacred natural site is a natural feature or a large area of land or water having special spiritual significance to peoples and communities. Sacred natural sites consist of all types of natural features including mountains, hills, forests, groves, trees, rivers, lakes, lagoons, caves, islands and springs. The interest in sacred natural sites, from the perspective of nature conservation, lies in the component of biological diversity that they harbor.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_natural_site)
Sacred natural sites have special subsistence, cultural and religious connotations for indigenous peoples. In the face of the impact of modernity, many of the world’s sacred indigenous sites face challenges of environmental destruction, overtourism, and cultural fragmentation, etc. In fact, there is a lack of public understanding and common knowledge about sacred sites. This lack has resulted in little public attention to the issue. In addition, there is a lack of discussion about sacred sites in the media and on various online platforms. In order to fill this gap, this forum is an important complement. It is hoped that through this platform, we will be able to discuss this topic together, thereby promoting the conservation and development of indigenous sacred sites. The “we” here includes not only scholars and the general public, but also indigenous people. Because listening to diverse voices is important for clarifying facts and promoting communication.
Sacred Sites and Biodiversity—Scenes from Standing on Sacred Ground