Marko Pogačnik, UNESCO Artist for Peace


The Burren Workshop is part of my UNESCO plan for 2016. In this context the purpose of the workshop was to show how it is possible to perceive and understand a landscape as an expression of the Earth consciousness. (Burren represents one of UNESCO Geoparks.)

The Burren workshop was executed in three complementary parts.

  • Exploration of the Burren landscape May 18-20 and May 23 was done together with 11 collaborators from the Slovenian Association for Coexistence between Human Beings, Nature and Environment from Ljubljana and in collaboration of Jackie Queally from Burren.
  • Public talk in the Town Hall of Corofin, Burren on May 20th.
  • Public workshop May 21-22 with 32 participants from Ireland and some other parts of Europe.

Following places have been explored regarding different aspects of Gaia (Earth) creative consciousness:

Laugh Avalla Farm and its holy well in the Burren Geopark area – the theme was Gaia consciousness as capable of transforming patterns of Earthly creation into living organisms.

Dysart O’Dea (St. Tola) as a place where the spectrum of possibilities is coded in the memory of the Earth that the Gaia consciousness can offer to human and other beings.

Ballinastaig Fort/fairy ring as an example of a place where Gaia consciousness creates patterns for development of different possible elemental and human cultures.

Kilmacduagh round tower and monastery was recognized as a place through which the consciousness of the Earth works on constant renewal of the vital capacities of the planet.

Rath Church Hill as an example of a place through which Gaia consciousness constantly creates the multidimensional world structure.

Molock mountain and lake as a place where the matrix of the Earth’s creation is stored.

The idea is to present the results of the Burren workshop to the Geopark conference in England in September 2016.

Šempas, Slovenia, May 27 2016, Marko Pogačnik



Designation ceremony of Marko Pogačnik as a UNESCO Artist for Peace

  When, local time: Friday, 5 February 2016 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.marko_pogacnik_0
  Where: France, Paris
  Type of Event: Special event



The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova will designate the famous Slovenian sculptor Mr Marko Pogačnik as a UNESCO Artist for Peace. This title will be bestowed upon Mr Pogačnik in recognition of his commitment to improving relationships between people and their environments, based on the concept of protection, education and sustainable development, to increase people’s ability to efficiently use Earth, its resources and landscapes.

Marko Pogačnik was born on 11 August 1944 in Kranj, Slovenia. He is an artist and author.

Pogačnik studied at the Academy of Arts in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, where he graduated in 1967. He was a co-founder of the neo-avantgarde artistic movement OHO, members of which were also Tomaž Šalamun and Slavoj Žižek. From the 1980s, he embraced a holistic vision of art. He claims to have developed a method of earth healing similar to acupuncture by using pillars and positioning them on so called ‘lithopuncture’ points of the landscape.

In 1991, he designed the official coat of arms of the newly constituted Republic of Slovenia. In the year 2006, he joined the Movement for Justice and Development led by Janez Drnovšek, the President of Slovenia at the time.

He lives and works in the village of Šempas in the lower Vipava Valley. In the last decade, the town of Nova Gorica, in which municipal territory he resides, has commissioned a number of public monuments from Pogačnik, most notably the monument to the 1000 years of the first mention of Gorica and Solkan, which stands in the town’s central public square.

Since 2008, a group of his monuments and birch trees, titled the Hologram of Europe, stands at the crossroad of Tivoli Street and Slovene Street.

In 1991, Marko Pogačnik received the Prešeren Fund Award for his work. In 2008, he received the Jakopič Award, the central Slovenian fine arts award. He was nominated two times for the Right Livelihood Award.


Plan of Action

Mr Marko Pogačnik

UNESCO Artist for Peace



The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, has decided to designate the famous Slovenian artist, Mr Marko Pogačnik as a UNESCO Artist for Peace for a two-year period (2016-2018). In this new capacity, Mr Pogačnik will support UNESCO’s work in the field of UNESCO Global Geoparks1 as well as the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB)2.

The following projects and activities are identifies, in consultation with Mr Marko Pogačnik, for his involvement and/or support in his capacity as a UNESCO Artist for Peace:

In the field of UNESCO Global Geoparks:

  • The Burren project

The purpose of this project, initiated by Mr Marko Pogačnik, is to develop ways on how to complement scientific approach to a landscape with the intuitive, holistic and pluridimensional approach developed by Mr Pogačnik. In the framework of this project, Mr Pogačnik also intends to determine how can art and science co-exist to deepen the human knowledge about the nature of life and the nature of earth?

Mr Marko Pogačnik is convinced that because of the increasing ecological threat life upon the Earth is endangered and consequently we need to search for new ways of co-existence and communication with the living organism of the Earth, its beings and landscapes. This approach, proposed by Mr Pogačnik, is called “geocultural”. According to this approach, the Earth, called Gaia, and its biosphere cooperate with the human culture. The message of “geoculture” means also that us, as human beings, are ready to build a culture of peace that is in tune with the essence of the Earth and its living environments.

Developing ways to perceive and understand the Earth and its diverse landscapes as an aspect of consciousness is the base of Mr Pogačnik’s worldwide work. This includes also developing ways of communication between the Gaia consciousness and human culture.

Mr Marko Pogačnik expressed his wish to organize The Burren project in Ireland, which includes one of UNESCO’s Global Geoparks (The Burren & Cliffs of Moher). The duration of this project is foreseen for 5 days and will be composed of public workshop and lecture. The possible dates for this project are:

  • 16-22 May 2016
  • 6-12 June 2016
  • 18-24 July 2016

The Programme of UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors as well as Mr Patrick J. Mc Keever, Chief of Section on Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction, Natural Sciences Sector, will serve as focal points for this project.

  • The 2016 UNESCO Global Geopark Conference

The 7th International Conference on Global Geoparks 2016 is scheduled to take place from 27 to 30 September next in Torquay, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Being held in Great Britain for the first time, this Conference will welcome delegates concerned with the UNESCO Global Geoparks agenda from all over the world. The UNESCO Global Geoparks conference will also provide an international platform to support efforts to conserve Earth’s heritage while sustaining local communities and promoting science education.

Mr Marko Pogačnik could organize, in his capacity as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, a special workshop in the framework of the 2016 Global Geopark Conference.

The Programme of UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors as well as Mr Patrick J. Mc Keever, Chief of Section on Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction, Natural Sciences Sector, will serve as focal points for this event.

In the field of Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB):

  • 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves

The 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves will be held in Lima, Peru from 14 to 18 March 2016. During this session, the future of the MAB programme will be discussed in light  of the MAB Strategy (2015-2025) adopted by the 38th session of UNESCO General Conference, the Lima Action plan and Lima Declaration to be adopted by the 28th session of the MAB-ICC scheduled to take place on 19 and 20 March 2016 in Lima.

Mr Marko Pogačnik could participate, in his capacity as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, in a side event on transboundary biosphere reserves in the framework of the 4WCBR. During this event, Mr Pogačnik could also deliver a keynote speech and make a presentation on how Art can contribute to promote Peace in transboundary sites.

The Programme of UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors as well as Ms Noeline Raondry Rakotoarisoa, Chief of Section on MAB Networking: Biosphere Reserves and Capacity Building, Natural Sciences Sector, will serve as focal points for this event.


During his various speeches and/or public statements, Mr Marko Pogačnik is invited to announce his support to Organization’s work in his capacity as a UNESCO Artist for Peace and use his talent and his status to raise public awareness on the activities mentioned above as well as other activities to be mutually agreed.

In line with the United Nations Guidelines for the designation of Messengers of Peace, Goodwill Ambassadors, Champions and Advocates, UNESCO encourages self-financing by Mr Marko Pogačnik of all travel related expenses.

[1] UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. Their bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities is becoming increasingly popular. A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks.
[2] UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments. MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.