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Indigenous people in World Heritage Sites

Indigenous people in World Heritage Sites
For the next section, world heritage and indigenous peoples. So this year, a general frame for world heritage is that it is designed to grant these places the highest level of protection, as international community are responsible for the effectiveness of this protection. So when we look at world heritage is just one side, because many of you are familiar with it. But it was established to the convention on the protection world heritage in 1972 in Paris. These nominations are based on ten criteria related to outstanding universal value.
And there are currently about 1073 sites, 832 cultural, 206 natural, and 35 mixed sites, there are three advisory bodies that are responsible for the natural, which is IUCN and asking them for the conservation of nature. It came off switches for the cultural site. And then, the commerce IUCN also works on mixed sites. Then the ICCROM which is based in Rome, which is a training body related to the management, and oversight related to these individual sites. Getting on the sustainable tourism and world heritage sites, there was a sustainable tourism program established in 2011 with the world heritage center in Paris. The current focus of the center and its activities are overtourism and reinforcing community benefits.
So in terms of these sites have to be overwhelmed by visitor numbers and environmental, social, and economic impacts, as well as ensuring that who needs themselves that are located there received the maximum economic benefit possible.
Through this entity, the program is also developed what’s known as UNESCO world heritage sustainable tourism toolkit. So it is an online set of documents that are related to how to use, develop, and manage sustainable tourism at individual sites. And right now, the world heritage center is in the process of developing what it refers to as the visitor management assessment tool. And that is to look at sites, on a test basis there will be about twenty sites will be working with, to determine their level of sustainability from a economic, social, environmental, and cultural basis .
In the sense to identify where the key areas of concern and the areas that can be addressed, not only from that site, but across UNESCO world heritage network as well. In terms of indigenous World heritage site biodiversity conservation goals some of the things they try to focus on applying traditional environmental knowledge or TEK And the idea behind TEK is that the way that the land to be managed for hundreds of thousands of years successfully with herds of animals and crops being able to successfully be grown. In the case, there’s a time tested matter of applying methods to maintaining the landscapes, the culture, the nature in these areas.
This comes in the form of certain activities like ongoing hereditary harvesting practices, sustaining the health of local species. In this case you have buffalo up here that are prevalent across are more prevalent across western Canada, and also overall maintain the landscapes that have sustained for thousands or tens of thousands of years, much like here in the winter, as well as the summer. And this is an example of the Northern Lights. It’s very famous in terms of environmental activity occurs in Northern Canada.
This is probably speak of which transit road in Canada. This is probably one of my favorite world heritage sites in the world not just because of the name, but it’s also a very lovely site It’s known as Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta. And it’s a very famous site. And that basically indigenous peoples when they were harvesting buffalo would form a kill site on the front of a cliff. And they would encourage buffalo basically run over the edge of the cliff. And then kill them very quickly, and then to harvest them for their meat, their fur, their bones, everything.
It became known as Head-Smashed-In because there was a young boy who was so curious as to what it was like for buffalo jump over the side. He placed himself here at the bottom of the kill site. And he ended up, of course, having Head-Smashed-In. This is what the site looks like now. It is an interpretation centre. This is where the kill zone is, but it is a world heritage site because it is the biggest and most well preserved site kill site of this type for buffalo hunting in North America. So it’s named a world heritage site in the 1980s. Now we start looking at the cultural tourism goals.
For a site like this is to provide a value proposition to counter incursion on a designated area. So in that sense, this is a sensitive cultural area because the activities that occurred there and within the landscape of this area there are some secret site and some sites that the local again, indigenous man that is there protects very carefully and it ensures that there is not much is limited or no access for people who are not of that tribe or background. The tourism approach is also to encourage alternative sources of income to sustain local communities. And many instances they are not great opportunities for economic development.
Tourism, at least on an annual basis it can provide some sort of sustainable income for committees themselves, the suppliers, the guides, the maintenance people, and the others who work on this site. There’s also support to maintain cultural landscapes and traditions. So the revenue that can be generated here can be put towards crafts languages building techniques, other aspects that might otherwise be lost because there isn’t a revenue or the need to continue reinforcing these types of cultural activities. And finally, to import the significance of authenticity and integrity. There are only so many sites of this type of nature across Canada.
So it’s very important to try and ensure you can maintain the site as much as possible with little development, little change, and also one that still reflects the way that it was and has been traditionally used. One of the things that has come as a result of the world heritage process in conjunction with IUCN, is that there’s this idea that indigenous sites especially not well reflected in cultural heritage, because of the fact that for many different sites around the world, whether Canada, here in China or elsewhere many different people see themselves as being part of the land and land being the key influence throughout their culture at the same time.
So one of the aspects that happened with mixed nominations at the world heritage committee meeting in Doha Qatar in 2014 was the fact that for some mix sites there are some issues with regard to IUCN giving a nomination report and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) on this report. When they brought the two reports together, there would be some very conflicting information. So as a result, there was some concerns in terms of how you’re looking at a site how was being conceived and how moving forward. There needed to be a nomination consideration that reflected both the nature and culture values better in terms of the indigenous or other perspectives. They are trying to be recognized for world heritage status.
So from this, there is a common coordinate approach denominations and advice requested from mixed world heritage sites. There was a connecting practice program that was developed between e-commerce and IUCN with the idea of developing something that’s known as the nature culture or the culture nature journey that could better reflect the way that sites are managed and nominated for world heritage status using both the natural and cultural characteristics. There has been subsequent discussion on this in recent events supported by IUCN and ICOMOS in the past two years in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2016 and ICOMOS general assembly in Delhi in December 2018.

In this video, you will learn about the concept and types of World Heritage, and the documents related to sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites. Besides that, you will know the goals of biodiversity conservation and cultural Tourism in indigenous World Heritage Sites.

How do you think the indigenous peoples can coexist in harmony with the indigenous heritage for mutual benefit?

Please feel free to leave a comment in the discussion area.

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International Culture and Tourism Management: Cultural Heritage and Tourism Management

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