Call for Papers- Forward Together: A Culture-Nature Journey, Towards More Effective Conservation in a Changing World

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Deadline for abstracts: 15 May 2018
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2018 US/ICOMOS Symposium  
Forward Together: A Culture-Nature Journey
Towards More Effective Conservation in a Changing World
13-14 November 2018
San Francisco, California
This Symposium is convened by US/ICOMOS in partnership with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UNESCO World Heritage Centre, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Presidio Trust, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and U.S. National Park Service.
The 2018 US/ICOMOS Symposium Program Committee invites abstracts for papers to be shared within a Culture-Nature Journey that explores the growing understanding that cultural and natural heritage are inextricably linked in many landscapes and waterscapes. Effective and long lasting conservation of these places depends on better integration of these ‘entangled dimensions’. This symposium builds on, and advances,the Nature-Culture Journey at the IUCN World Conservation Congress (2016) and the Culture-Nature Journey at the ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly . Sessions at the US/ICOMOS Symposium will further explore the interconnections of cultural and natural heritage and ways to shape long-term sustainable conservation.
Goals for the US/ICOMOS Symposium
This symposium offers an opportunity for knowledge sharing and assessment of lessons learned from national and international experience. Through exploration of different areas of heritage practice, the Symposium aims to identify actionable outcomes that will further integration of culture and nature for more effective conservation.
Schedule for the US/ICOMOS Symposium and other related events
The symposium will take place on 13-14 November in San Francisco, in conjunction with the IUCN 70th Anniversary Town Hall Meeting on 12 November and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s PastForward Conference, 14-16 November.
The US/ICOMOS symposium and a significant portion of the sessions at the National Trust PastForward Conference will focus on the Culture-Nature Journey and key related themes including: cultural landscapes, intangible heritage, and climate change. Symposium participants are encouraged to attend the PastForward Conference including joining Bay area field visits highlighting culture-nature conservation stories.
Call for Papers for the US/ICOMOS Symposium
The Symposium Program Committee invites papers related to the Culture-Nature Journey in general and more specifically to the following four themes (described below) that represent areas of innovation for advancing conservation. Contributions to the Culture-Nature Journey will focus on areas of practice that are on the cutting edge in developing new approaches to advance the recognition and integration of culture-nature interlinkages. We are also looking for case studies and analyses of lessons learned that identify next steps to advance new working methods, practice, legal and policy frameworks, research, and theory.

  1. Adopting a landscape approach for the conservation of cultural and natural resources — from urban to rural places

Taking a ‘landscape approach’ to conservation is a relatively new concept that recognizes the interconnectedness of culture and nature across landscapes/waterscapes and works to bring more integration to achieve conservation outcomes. Conservation at landscape scale involves working across a mosaic of land uses and a diversity of governance systems, and can best be achieved through inclusive, interdisciplinary, collaborative and community-based processes that place heritage in a larger geographic and socio-economic context. This holistic approach offers the potential to create linkages between culture and nature, tangible and intangible heritage, and urban and rural places — balancing change with continuity, and creating and sustaining vibrant communities.

  1. Recognizing intangible heritage and diverse perspectives as integral to conservation strategies

Until recently, heritage conservation has focused primarily on tangible heritage. Today, there is wide recognition of the interrelationship between tangible and intangible heritage and of the invaluable role of cultural knowledge and traditional practices. This recognition is integral to heritage conservation approaches that embrace participatory processes and that respect and integrate diverse perspectives on the relationship of culture and nature, acknowledging its centrality to many places and associated local and indigenous communities.

  1. Building resilience, adaptation and sustainability for urban and rural landscapes

An integrated culture/nature approach offers important contributions to building resilience as well as to addressing adaptation and sustainability of urban and rural landscapes and the connections between them. Local and traditional knowledge contributes to strategies that respond to climate change and impacts from other hazards. Working together, the culture and nature sectors, in partnership with communities, can localize and implement the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to address global challenges.

  1. Considering the past and future of the World Heritage List from the perspective of the U.S.

The 1972 World Heritage Convention is an international framework that has continued to evolve and demonstrate good practice for heritage conservation. After 40 years, it is timely to reflect on the U.S. inscriptions on the World Heritage List beginning in 1978. This review could be used to identify ways to improve the effectiveness of implementation of the Convention, incorporating recent initiatives to advance the recognition of the interlinkages of culture and nature. The U.S. has, over the years, played an important role in the World Heritage Convention both nationally and internationally and it is now critical to look ahead at ways to sustain and advance this leadership role in the context of new ideas.
 Requested content for the abstracts of papers
To address the Symposium goals of knowledge sharing, assessing lessons learned, and identifying actionable outcomes that will further advance effective conservation. Authors are asked to include in their abstract:

  • a focus on a challenge or opportunity that brings together culture and nature for more effective conservation;
  • new working methods, practices, legal and policy frameworks, and strategies adopted to address the challenge or opportunity;
  • key insights or lessons learned from this experience; and
  • next steps or types of actions can be taken to make progress with conservation.

The Symposium Program Committee is looking for abstracts from the U.S. as well as from international settings and from cultural and natural heritage professionals. We encourage submission of abstracts for papers from community representatives, professionals, people working in government and non-government organizations, and academics that explore diverse issues in, and approaches to cultural and natural heritage management and conservation.
Abstract and Paper Deadlines 
Please use the US/ICOMOS Symposium Abstract Submission Form for format guidelines
Deadline for submission of an abstract: 15 May 2018
Notification of successful abstracts: 15 June 2018
Full paper submissions: 15 September 2018
Final papers for publication: TBD
Submission of Abstracts
We ask that abstracts be submitted in English. As indicated on the attached Symposium Abstract Submission Form, the abstracts should be no more than 250 words and indicate the theme that is addressed in the paper. Please include the contact information for the lead (corresponding) author. The Symposium Program Committee will review all submissions and acceptance of abstracts will be announced by 15 June 2018.
Paper submissions
US/ICOMOS is planning to publish a selection of papers from the Symposium that will be made available on the US /ICOMOS web site. Information on the schedule for submission and the length and formatting requirements for papers will be provided with acceptance of the abstract.
Abstract submissions and general inquiries may be sent to Email to

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