Cultural and natural heritage around the world is exposed to numerous risks resulting from natural and human-made threats. These risks can be either catastrophic (earthquakes, floods, cyclones, fires) or continuous threats with cumulative effects (pollution, erosion, material decay, development, tourism, inappropriate site management, and looting). The exposure to such risks, coupled with environmental, economic, social and political contexts and the lack of material conservation and management systems increases the vulnerability of heritage properties. The UNESCO, Council of Europe, and other international organizations have adopted conventions for cultural heritage preservation that set the common rules and standards of the member states to address these issues. Debates concerning archaeological research, heritage preservation, and heritage management have increased in recent years, often as an effect of such organizations, and their rules and standards. After decades of such processes, it is time for evaluation of their implementation.
All countries have a rich past, but they have different systems of cultural heritage management, from regional autonomy to federal control. Sessions in the “Heritage Protection and Conservation” theme might discuss how different state bodies (or other organizations) are implementing international conventions according to their national cultural policies, legal frameworks and management structures.
Other proposed topics:
- Identification of natural/human-made risks to cultural heritage,
- Strategies and methods to mitigate risk to cultural heritage from natural and human-caused disasters
- Tools/methods for risk assessment of cultural heritage (e.g. documentation, inventorying and mapping for recording and analyzing risks), examples of best practices
- Post disaster recovery of cultural heritage
- Awareness raising and capacity building of communities, professionals, decision makers to manage risks to cultural heritage from natural and human-caused factors
Issues of Heritage Practices in the Gulf: Part 1 & Part 2
The relatively recent but growing involvement of the nations of the Gulf region in global heritage models suggests a strong interest in the further professionalization and standardization of heritage practices at the local level.
This session aims to provide a critical overview of the variety of heritage practices as they are envisioned and put to work in the GCC states. It considers a wide range of issues, from the application of global models of site conservation and management to the challenges of heritage interpretation and presentation.
We are particularly interested in exploring locally understood and practiced forms of heritage preservation and interpretation that may offer alternative solutions and adaptations to regional concerns, and invite discussions of locally emerging philosophies.
This session presents specific regional case studies that address the creation of local heritage policies and how these are put into practice; the application of global standards in heritage preservation, interpretation and presentation, including issues of world heritage management; the politics of heritage preservation and interpretation, including socio cultural and religious considerations in the region and the mobilization of heritage concerns to promote other development projects, among others.
Sustainability, Heritage Protection and the Role of Civil Society
Mario A Rivera (Universidad Tarapaca, Chile)
Sustainability of human societies have become a truly science where its main goal is to provide a vision about the interaction of the global processes with the ecological and social traits of specific places and regions (Kottak 2004, Korten 1980, Kates et al 2001). The United Nations has defined “sustainable development” as the “socially responsible economic development that protects the resource base for the benefit of future generations”. In agreement with this concept, we are proposing a session that tries to integrate physical aspects along with economic and social ones with the aim of improving our concepts towards heritage protection. This symposium deals with factors that do not allow a modern vision where the scientific activity relates to the socio-economic and cultural development of the people, mainly the indigenous communities that inhabit the targeted territories, and aims to present case studies regarding the protection of cultural heritage sites against the threat of natural and or human made risks and ways to mitigate the negative action presented by the environment and action derived from industrial and human intervention.
Disasters and archaeology
Archaeological areas with settlements and their surrounding landscape are irreplaceable and highly complex cultural resources that have evolved over time and contain various heritage components and intangible components such as rituals and social activities that have sustained these areas for generations.
However these Archaeological areas are becoming increasingly fragile due to unprecedented transformation processes that have posted grave risks to their heritage values and have increased their vulnerability to natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides and floods.
Disasters and protection of in situ Archaeological heritage will be studied in this section.
Cultural Resource Management in Africa: past, present and the future
Cultural resources in various parts of Africa are threatened daily by human settlements, belief systems, new forms of socio-organisation, increasing control over the environment, improved technology, government policies and civil and political unrest.
As a result of the numerous threats, a number of cultural properties dotting the African landscape and stored in her museums have either been destroyed or are on the verge of destruction.
What theories and methods will best ameliorate the horror facing the management of cultural resources in Africa especially at the wake of the 21st century?
This session therefore welcome contributions across the continent particularly those that have their focus on the theory, method and practice of Cultural Resource Management in Africa. Case study papers on the peculiarities of threats facing Cultural properties in specific countries are welcome .We also encourage papers that compare notes, share ideas and knowledge from other continents.
Paper format should basically be 15 minutes presentation to be followed by discussion by the panelists and the audience.
Geo-Heritage at risk: approaches, technologies and strategies for sustainable conservation
Natural and Cultural Heritage is exposed to various hazards resulting from environmental and human-induced dynamics.
The conservation of geo-archaeological heritage sites are highly sensitive to process of degradation depending on climate-related factors, such as landslides, floods, weathering, as well as human-induced pressures like tourist over-exploitation, pollution, urbanisation. The sustainable conservation policies and strategies of such a sites demands a multi-discipline approaches, expertise and techniques. Integration of Earth Sciences with archeology and conservation for long-term sustainable strategies and management is highly encouraged for analysis of problems and preservation of monuments and natural materials located in natural and geo-heritage sites. The session will deal with the following topics:
- documentation, inventory and mapping of natural and human-induced hazards, also by GIS tools and approaches
- development of risk analysis and mitigation methodologies applied to geo-heritage sites
- monitoring techniques for analysis and control of degradation processes
- Risk awareness and Capacity Building