Sacred natural sites

Sacred natural sites are areas of land or water having special spiritual significance to peoples and communities. Local communities established social norms based on spiritual values and thus these areas have been fully or partly protected from exploitation. Links between spiritual belief and the conservation of land and water are found in many mainstream faiths (for example Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam) and in local belief systems.


SANASI - a world database on sacred natural sites

The world database on sacred natural sites (SANASI) aims (1) to collect and provide data to analyze whether sacred natural sites harbor species that are especially valuable for biodiversity conservation and the provision of livelihoods, (2) to collect and provide data on the underlying values and institutional arrangements of sacred natural sites to analyze the parameters that are crucial for their successful management, and (3) to foster interdisciplinary research on these issues by developing a network of scientists and common research protocols that will facilitate collaborations and exchange of data.


Featured site

Lumbini sacred grove

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SANASI aims to support research activities that respect local knowledge and culture. We are developing resources for scientists who conduct research on sacred natural sites.

Consultation on SANASI

SANASI is an evolving project and will benefit from ideas and inputs by people interested in the links between nature and culture.

Currently, SANASI is working on a policy on data storage and access. Please feel free to contact us and share your opinion and knowledge.