By Nicole Franceschini, M.A. in World Heritage Studies, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus
Later this week ICCROM is headed to Honolulu to join the IUCN World Conservation Congress. The Congress, which is being held in the US for the first time, takes place every four years and gathers decision makers from all over the world to discuss nature and its conservation. ICCROM will be joining the IUCN Congress with two sessions that will take place at the IUCN Congress Forum from 2-5 September.
ICCROM’s participation is occurring as part of the Congress’s World Heritage journey as well as the Nature-Culture Journey jointly organized by IUCN, ICOMOS and US/ICOMOS. Within these frameworks, ICCROM is organizing a workshop on “People-Centered Approaches to Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage” and a round table for discussion on “Authenticity as Part of the Outstanding Universal Value for Natural World Heritage Properties.” The workshop will focus on the engagement of communities in the active conservation of cultural and natural heritage bringing benefits for practitioners, for heritage and communities themselves. ICCROM believes that communities should not only be engaged in participatory approaches but that the relationship between communities and their heritage should be put at the centre of conservation and management practises for the long term conservation of natural and cultural heritage properties. The workshop aims at offering a general overview on the topic through short presentations and case studies on traditional knowledge systems, communities, gender balance, youth engagement and sustainable development. Furthermore participants will be engaged in discussing key aspects of these topics in small groups facilitated by ICCROM, IUCN and UNESCO experts.
The second event planned is a knowledge cafe’ on authenticity in nature. This session consists of a round table for discussion on the application of the requirement of authenticity as part of the Outstanding Universal Value of natural world heritage properties. Despite the discussion on this matter had been initiated when the condition of integrity was added to the requirement of Outstanding Universal Value for cultural world heritage properties in 2005, no decision has been taken so far and in the past years no further discussion has been undertaken. Within the framework of this event, ICCROM aims at assessing the possibility of developing an understanding of the concept of authenticity for natural heritage to be adopted and implemented within the World Heritage system. The discussion will be initiated by Nigel Dudley, IUCN expert and author of the book “Authenticity in Nature: Making Choices about the Naturalness of Ecosystems” in which he developed a theoretical structure for the understanding of authenticity within the natural sector. The round table will include experts from the natural as well as world heritage and cultural experts from ICCROM, ICOMOS and UNESCO.
ICCROM will participate for the first time to the IUCN World Conservation Congress via invitation of IUCN itself, which is also an ex officio member of the ICCROM’s Council itself. This collaboration at the IUCN WCC strengthens the work done by ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN in the development of a common framework for assessing the interlinkages and bridging gaps between the cultural and the natural heritage sectors. In 2014 the Conservation of Built Heritage Course organized by ICCROM developed a final module in collaboration with IUCN, the World Heritage Centre and the Swiss Government to offer the course participants a framework and tools for narrowing the gaps between the two sectors. The results and outcomes of this special module were published in April 2015 on the UNESCO World Heritage Review no. 75: Culture – Nature Links.
At present ICCROM has announced a capacity building workshop on Nature-Culture interlinkages in Asia and the Pacific that will take place from September 18th to 30th 2016 in Tsukuba, Japan. The workshop is organized by the World Heritage Studies and the Certificate Programme on Nature Conservation of the University of Tsukuba in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, IUCN, ICCROM and ICOMOS: and it is part of the 2016-2019 capacity building strategy that aims at organizing a series of workshops and training courses on bridging the gaps between Nature and Culture.
Find more information on ICCROM’s activities at its official website and follow the development of ICCROM’s event at the IUCN WCC on the official web-pages of the events: People-Centered Approaches to Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage and Authenticity as Part of the Outstanding Universal Value for Natural World Heritage Properties.