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Co-managing World Heritage Sites: Communication, politics and contested management regimes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today, there are nearly 1000 World Heritage sites on our planet. Many of them are established on the traditional lands of indigenous peoples and therefore entail indigenous peoples’ interests and concerns. UNESCO demands of nation states to incorporate indigenous and local peoples’ involvement, since this is seen as a guarantee for safeguarding the natural and cultural values of the sites, and Indigenous peoples themselves are continuously claiming rights to (co-)manage these sites. In many ways, this development is part of a broader international trend, where national, regional and local authorities are imposed to implement a higher degree of cooperation, dialogue and consultation with indigenous peoples and local actors.

This paper presents a new research project that aims at illuminating and analyzing the link between World Heritage sites, identity processes, power relations and local management strategies. Within these sites many different interests and objectives intersect, giving rise to tension between cultural and natural conservation management, democratization processes, ethno-political aspirations and changing power structures. The case studies involved in this project are already established World Heritage sites or proposed sites (Laponia in Sweden, Cape York in Australia and Tongariro in New Zealand).

In this paper we will contextualize and illuminate the often complicated realm of different actors’ interests, mandates and desires. World Heritage sites can be seen as platforms where both conflict and collaboration can take place. But with a rising number of indigenous peoples being directly affected by sites, and being increasingly involved in the establishment and the management of the sites, questions concerning land rights, self-governing and responsibility over land management are being highlighted. This point to new directions and new challenges for national protecting agencies. And it incorporates a highly contested and often politically charged process where estimable concepts like “dialogue”, “cooperation” and “local involvement” are being practically implemented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
World Heritage, indigenous peoples, co-management
National Category
Research subject
Ethnology; Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-239209OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-239209DiVA: diva2:773665
Sámi Customary Rights in Modern Landscapes. Indigenous People and Nature Conservation, Luleå, 28-29 August, 2013
Att samförvalta världsarv
Available from: 2014-12-19 Created: 2014-12-19 Last updated: 2014-12-19

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