The understanding of the relationship between culture and nature as manifested in the UNESCO declarations and practices has changed over the last few years. The World Heritage Convention is continuing to evolve its definitions to reflect the increasing complexities of world cultures as they grapple with the heritage conservation policies that reflect their multiple stakeholders. They are also integrating a greater cultural perspective in their recent resolutions to the convention. Although the links between nature and culture have been clarified through this new attention to cultural landscapes, many countries and their bureaucracies have not yet adopted these new perspectives. The article suggests that to achieve an integrated approach to conservation, national, regional, and international bodies and their professionals must be involved. Two examples are discussed to address the shortcomings of the application of the convention and to illustrate the complexities of defining and conserving cultural landscapes.
This paper is published in the International Journal of Cultural Property (2008), 15: 25-47 Cambridge University Press. The full paper could be found on the Journal's webpage here.