Universal nature versus local culture (Clermont-Ferrand – 11 au 13 septembre 2013)

A conference  entitled “Universal nature versus local culture: how to manage inhabited natural sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List?” will be held in Clermont-Ferrand (France) from 11 to 13 September 2013 (http://minah.vetagro-sup.fr/sites/en/).

The aim of this conference is to review current knowledge, and to promote means of participatory management involving the inhabitants of sites which appear “natural” and untouched to a visitor’s eye, but yet are inhabited and managed, often for several centuries, by people who might well have built up different values systems to those held by the international community.

Clearly it is not our intention to place the universal value of a site in opposition to the values of the local population.  Instead we propose to use selected case studies and situations all around the world:

–        to review current knowledge on methods used for managing inhabited natural sites with outstanding heritage value;

–        to discuss how to guarantee committed participation of local stakeholders and inhabitants, and what means to use in the planning and operational stages;

–        to improve the formalisation of management principles, which can then be adapted to very different situations, depending on the continent, climate and culture of the site, and to contribute to strengthening cooperation between sites which are aiming to be, or already are, inscribed on the List.

In addition to invited lectures, debates, case studies presentations and field trips in the Auvergne Volcanic Area, the conference will host a special poster session and the selected propositions will be submitted for  publication in an international scientific journal. Therefore, I invite you and anyone else dealing with these issues  to join the conference and answering the call for posters available at http://minah.vetagro-sup.fr/sites/en/?q=node/2.

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