When we care for it...preserving cultural and spiritual values of forests

, by IIED

Everywhere in the world people care for and try to preserve the things they value.

What is considered valuable is relative to the socio-cultural context, and often things that are of great significance and deeply precious for some individuals and groups are not for others. There are things and places that are priceless because they refer to our identity and our sense of being and belonging.

We are apt to store worn and decrepit items as though they were precious treasures because they have been in the family for generations. We visit places we consider sacred and we pay respect to their genius loci to be healed, have questions answered, or to achieve some spiritual benefit.

Forested landscapes very much belong to this category as they often bear a deep significance, inspire affection and respect, reinforce cultural identity and are vital for spiritual wellbeing.

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