The European Institute of Cultural Routes
The European Institute of Cultural Routes is an advisor to the European Green Pilgrimage Network. The EICR was set up in 1998 as part of an agreement between the Council of Europe and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and is located in the Centre Culturel de Rencontre - Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg.
The Cultural Routes programme was launched in 1987. Today there are 32 certified Council of Europe Cultural Routes including major pilgrimage routes. Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim Routes was the first certified route in 1987. Others include the Via Francigena, the Europe Routes of Jewish heritage, Saint Martin of Tours Route, Cluniac Sites in Europe, The Route of Saint Olav Ways, the European Route of Cistercian Abbeys and the Routes of El Legado Andalusi.
The Institute advises and evaluates Cultural Routes already certified to ensure they comply with the criteria adopted by the Committee of Ministers, helps new projects obtain certification and organises training and activities for route managers as well as coordinates a university network. It also houses the extensive information and documentary resources of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme.
It aims to promote a greater awareness of the links between culture, tourism and the environment. It also collates best practice across all of Europe on issues ranging from pilgrimage route management to the promotion of cultural and natural heritage and sustainable tourism.
For more information on the EICR and its route, visit: www.culture-routes.net/the-institute.
Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC)
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation launched the Green Pilgrimage Network in 2011. The GPN is no longer a programme of ARC but ARC continues to promote green pilgrimage. Its work with the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals, for example, resulted in the faiths being listed as one of the five pillars for developing sustainable cities.
ARC is currently working with R20 and the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation on the Planet Pledge Fund and a pre-investment facility funding for faiths and municipalities to put together investment plans for substantial environmentally friendly infrastructure.
To find out more, visit www.arcworld.org.
The Bhumi Project
The Bhumi Project is a worldwide Hindu response to the environmental issues facing our planet. It is facilitated by the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies in partnership with GreenFaith.
The Bhumi Project has worked with a number of major Hindu temples and places of pilgrimage across India to promote good environmental practice. Through dialogue, training and practical example, we have worked to ensure that temple activities are sensitive to environmental concerns. This work has been done in sites such as Rishikesh, Vrindavan, Dwarka, Ujjain, and Puri.
The Green Temples Guide, which we co-authored, asks temples to consider environmental concerns under eight thematic areas. These include waste management, biodiversity and temple gardens. Visit: Bhumi Project
The European Association of the Via Francigena
The Via Francigena is the ancient road and pilgrim route that in medieval times connected Canterbury to Rome. It is a 1,800 km path across England, France, Switzerland and Italy tracing the ancient footsteps of medieval pilgrims.
The Via Francigena today is a cultural route of the Council of Europe. Since 2001, the European Association of the Via Francigena coordinates the development and promotion of the route which starts beside the south porch of Canterbury Cathedral at the kilometres zero stone.
Find out more at: http://www.viefrancigene.org/en/