Search staff/organisations CH de Pater MSc MA
Name CH de Pater MSc MA

Job details
DescriptionPh.D candidate
OrganizationDepartment of Environmental Sciences
Organization UnitForest and Nature Conservation Policy
Secretarial phone+31 317 486 187
Phone 2
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Note by telephonist
Visiting addressDroevendaalsesteeg 3
Postal address
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Ancillary activities
  • Board Member / Secretary - Aikido Federatie Nederland
    Sep 2014 - Present

    Board Member / Secretary of a national sports organisation|See

  • Member, Vaste Redactie Commissie Wikipedia Bos (VRC) - Ver. Tropische Bossen en Kon. Ned. Bosbouw Ver.
    Sep 2009 - Present

    The VRC aims to enhance knowledge on forests, forestry and related subjects in the Netherlands. She does so by inviting experts to write draft lemmas, or writing lemmas by VRC members, and placing and improving lemmas on these subjects on


Since September 2017 Cathrien is engaged in PhD research at WUR/FNP into the relation between spiritual values and forest management. Cathrien has an MSc in tropical forestry (Wageningen) and an MA (with honours) in Interreligious Spirituality Studies (Nijmegen). For 30 years she worked as a forestry adviser with the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of the Netherlands in the development of community and social forestry, international cooperation, biodiversity and communication. She worked extensively in Azië (Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan among others) and Latin America (mainly Nicaragua), and later in the Netherlands and Europe. In the last 15 years she specialized in the upcoming academic field of Nature and Religion, with a focus on forests. Activities in this field include academic articles as well as lectures, workshops and courses (see

Expert Profile
Social media
  Catharina de Pater on ResearchGate
  Catharina de Pater on Linkedin
  Catharina de Pater on Twitter
  Catharina de Pater's own website

Key publications


Spiritual Values and Sustainable Forest Management 

What are the nature, role and effects of spiritual values in forest management? This is the main question of this project. International forest policies are increasingly recognizing spiritual values as criteria for sustainable forest management. However, knowledge on how spiritual values are articulated in practice is scarce. Because most evidence remains anecdotal, the study of spiritual values in forest management remains unsystematized and under-theorized. Research is complicated by the widely diverging interpretations of the concept of spirituality in relation to forests. The project therefore draws upon 'family resemblances' theories and a multi-dimensional approach of spirituality. In Phase 1, a conceptual framework with seven dimensions was constructed for the systematic study of spiritual phenomena relevant to forest management, taking into account multiple ontologies and epistemologies (de Pater et al. 2021). Phase 2 (paper submitted) concentrated on forest management plans, as they represent an important nexus between policies and practices. Here, the conceptual framework was used to analyse forest management plans from British Columbia and the Netherlands on how they articulate spiritual values. Findings suggest that spiritual values are essential elements of sustainable forest policy and management, not exclusively for Indigenous peoples, but also for the global North. Spiritual values appeared to be significant not only in relation to nature experience, but also in relation to forest use. In phase 3 (current), forest management practices in the Netherlands were analysed with the aid of the conceptual framework, to assess the characteristics and siginficance of spiritual values in practical forest management. In phase 4, the findings of the former phases will be synthesized and theorized.

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