Liza is Director of DiversEarth, an organization working at the interface of Nature, Culture and Spirituality and currently co-chair of CEESP's Theme on Culture, Spirituality and Conservation. She is ...
IUCN CEESP Culture, Spirituality and Conservation Thematic Group
Overview and description
The IUCN CEESP Culture, Spirituality and Conservation (CSC) Theme focuses on increasing understanding of the relationships between culture, biocultural heritage, spirituality and equitable governance ...The IUCN CEESP Culture, Spirituality and Conservation (CSC) Theme focuses on increasing understanding of the relationships between culture, biocultural heritage, spirituality and equitable governance in conservation, sustainable development, and environmental and cultural policy.
Ms Liza ZOGIB
Liza is Director of DiversEarth, an organization working at the interface of Nature, Culture and Spirituality and currently co-chair of CEESP's Theme on Culture, Spirituality and Conservation. She is a longtime explorer of the eastern arts of meditation, using body and breath to open the mind. She is a teacher of yoga and qigong, dancer of Bharata Natyam and practitioner of Shaolin arts. Liza also works on issues of culture, rights and justice as well as having a background in protected and conserved areas. She has over the years worked extensively on sacred sites, sacred species, culture & conservation, and convening interfaith dialogue.
Mr Kevin CHANG
More about the Theme
CSC provides technical advice on evolving norms, policies and the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and other protection efforts as well as assessments of proposed natural heritage sites, indigenous and community conserved areas (or ICCAs, mixed natural and cultural sites), or cultural landscapes with attention to the rights and livelihoods of Indigenous peoples and local communities. Additionally, the theme also explores themes of spirituality, sacred and cultural sites and faith-based movements related to conservation and climate change through specialist groups and topic specific task forces and working groups.
The Theme on Culture, Spirituality and Conservation celebrates the inseparable diversity of nature and culture that grows from deep human connections with the natural world. These connections flourish as distinctive ways of being, knowing, seeing, singing, dancing, and caring… In some communities, these deep connections exist still. In many more, they have been broken leading to the environmental and climate crises we are facing today. The traditional methods of western conservation have often overlooked the culture and spirit of place – but can we reimagine another model that places culture and spirit at the very heart of conservation?
The Theme focuses on three broad areas of activity in the term 2023-2025:
1. The embedding of culture and spirituality into the conservation agenda and conservation approaches
- Sacred Species project – concrete, collaborative global project on sacred species
- Raise broader awareness of the efforts of local communities and Indigenous peoples linking culture and spirituality with conservation
- Engage and link networks to increase sharing of information and practices as appropriate
- Deepen engagements among commission members and across commissions
2. Technical assistance and advice on culture and spirituality within IUCN
- Support World Heritage Evaluations and coordinating with the IUCN World Heritage Program on aspects of culture
- Support assessments of proposed natural/cultural heritage sites, indigenous and community conserved areas, or cultural landscapes with attention to the rights and livelihoods of Indigenous peoples and local communities.
- Support the IUCN HQ on issues of culture and spirituality (e.g. reviewing new Cultural Heritage ESMS Standard and training programme)
3. Enhancing cooperation, dialogue and action with cultural, faith-based organisations and interfaith networks towards the achievement of the world’s biodiversity and climate goals
- Provide a platform of exchange (ReSpECC) for faith-based actors
- Build efforts toward addressing a reconciliation process on the renunciation of the Doctrine of Discovery (Reso 119) within the union
- Help ensure faith voices at international fora
- Strengthen links with faith leaders and interfaith networks around global goals (further details in the ReSpECC workplan)
Why someone should become a member of CSC
CSC’s 133 members come from 46 countries and a diversity of backgrounds, including researchers and scholars, indigenous and local community leaders, cultural and spiritual practitioners and civil society advocates.
Participation in this theme provides members a place to share and exchange experiences and contribute to the shaping of the theme, the broader CEESP commission and the union as a whole. Synergies and exchanges often evolve around subject matter that can culminate in conference gatherings, workshops, publications and policy opportunities, peer to peer learning and cultural exchanges.
Membership in the theme is open to any IUCN Commissioner who has joined the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP). Join CEESP here.
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