Issue 5: World Heritage and Local Communities

World Heritage and Local Communities

Within the wider global trend of the democratisation of heritage, the ‘rhetoric of community’ is becoming increasingly a matter of concern. The considerable interest in the role of local communities in the preservation of their heritage can be seen in the academic discourse as well as in policy. In the World Heritage process, especially in the first decade of the 21st century, communities were added as one of the main strategic objectives of the Convention. Recent changes to the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the Convention recommend involvement of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making, monitoring, and evaluation of the properties and their Outstanding Universal Value.

There are a range of approaches to heritage management in different parts of the world and within these, the role of ‘people’ in management of World Heritage properties is given different levels of importance. Although there have been numerous research projects concerning the role of communities in heritage conservation, this crucial area of understanding has not yet been explored adequately.

This issue will focus on exploring the relationship between ‘community’ and World Heritage, this can be approached theoretically or through a case study.

  • What are the main obstacles in the World Heritage system which prevent communities from engaging actively in the conservation process?
  • What is the interaction between universal values and ‘local knowledge’ or does this interaction exist at all.
  • What does a World Heritage site mean to its local communities and what does it do for them?

The theme of the 5th issue of the IIICH Postgraduate journal furnace is World Heritage and Communities.

View the full journal online

Or download and read individual articles (PDF):

Trelka, M and Acheson, C.  Editorial.Download
Jameson, J H. Keynote paper: Management and Interpretation of World Heritage through Community Engagement. Download
Bongsasilp, B. World Heritage and Urban Communities in Thailand: Historic City of Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province and Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. Download
Richards, G. Simulacra and Simulation: UNESCO’s Approach to the Relationship between the Rehabilitation of World Heritage and Communities. Download
Rahman, D F and Afioma, G. The Designation of Komodo National Park World Heritage Site: To Whom does it Benefit? Download
Melinda, H. Shift of Importance from Built Heritage to the Local Community: Story of the First Hungarian World Heritage Site. Download