Cultural Landscape in World Heritage Conservation and Cultural Landscape Conservation Challenges in Asia
Mechtild Rössler and Roland Chih-Hung Lin*
World Heritage Centre, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Paris, France
ABSTRACT UNESCO was the first United Nations agency to deal with landscapes at a global scale, notably through the World Heritage Convention. In 1992, ‘Cultural Landscapes’became a new category on the World Heritage List combining works of nature and of humankind: cultural landscapes often illustrate a specific relation between people and nature and can reflect techniques of sustainable land use, fostering strong links between culture and sustainable development. Initiatives such as the UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize highlight outstanding examples of safeguarding activities at the world’s major cultural landscapes and offer opportunities to share good practices and create synergies. Cultural landscapes face numerous threats across the world, and especially in Asia, with its growing infrastructure development and urbanisation. This article shares some of the knowledge and experience garnered by UNESCO through its conservation and management activities at cultural landscapes in Asia (Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Silk Roads heritage corridors) and highlights the urgent need for a cultural-historical-natural territory approach to address the pressing challenges for the conservation of Cultural Landscapes in Asia. Finally, the article advocates for a strong focus on the peoples and communities that inhabit these territories and their involvement at all stages.
KEYWORDS cultural landscape, World Heritage, conservation, management, Asia, Bhutan, Bamiyan, Silk Roads
Received July 25, 2018; accepted August 8, 2018.