Adopted 27 March 2004,
Natchitoches (Nak-a-tish) Louisiana, USA
at the 2004 US/ICOMOS International Symposium
NATCHITOCHES DECLARATION ON HERITAGE LANDSCAPES
27 March 2004, Natchitoches, Louisiana, USA
On the occasion of the 7th International Symposium of US/ICOMOS, Learning from World Heritage: Lessons from International Preservation & Stewardship of Cultural & Ecological Landscapes of Global Significance, 123 delegates from all over the United States, twelve nations and several disciplines met in Natchitoches, Louisiana, from 25 to 27 March 2004, to share experience, draw lessons and address issues surrounding the interface of nature and culture in the landscape.
The symposium benefited from the continuing reflection carried through World Heritage international and regional meetings addressing cultural landscapes, and the ICOMOS General Assembly, Zimbabwe, 2002, the World Parks Congress, Durban, South Africa, 2003, the review of IUCN categories of protected areas and the recent revision of the World Heritage Operational Guidelines merging the cultural and natural criteria.
The World Heritage Operational Guidelines were amended in 1992 to include cultural landscapes and it is apparent that this addition has been instrumental in focusing on the interaction of people and nature over time. Thirty-six evolved continuing or relict, designed and associative landscapes have received World Heritage listing between 1992 and 2003, recognizing their outstanding universal value. The majority of these, twenty-two, are evolved continuing landscapes where people and nature dwell together. There is a convergence of natural and cultural values in the landscape, and a growing recognition that the traditional separation of nature and culture is a hindrance to protection, and is no longer sustainable. Further, heritage landscape protection is required at the local, national and global levels in order to transmit these universally valuable heritage resources to future generations.