ICOMOS Publishes Commentary on Nature-Culture Keywords, New Resource for Heritage Field

CP Commentary on Keywords PHOTOTowards the adoption of a connected approach to considering nature and culture, the Commentary on Nature-Culture Keywords reflects a dialogue between disciplines within the heritage field, and intends to develop a basis for common understanding of relevant terms among cultural and natural heritage professionals.

In this first attempt to find common ground, ICOMOS has focused on three ‘keyword families’ – ‘biocultural’, ‘resilience’ and ‘traditional knowledge’ – which interconnect the conservation of cultural and natural heritage. They all address the co-evolved and changing systems that underpin considerations of natural and cultural heritage. Together these keywords comprise an emerging conceptual approach, rather than a fixed method.

The Commentary on Nature-Culture Keywords aims to be a resource for heritage practitioners and researchers who are working in the interdisciplinary field that links natural and cultural heritage conservation.

The document is the outcome of a much longer and more complex journey that began with the intention to compile a brief glossary of terms and concepts that have emerged in implementing the Connecting Practice project.

The Connecting Practice project is a joint exploration by IUCN and ICOMOS that aims to develop new approaches to heritage designation and management that recognise the interconnectedness of natural and cultural values. ‘Biocultural’, ‘resilience’ and ‘traditional knowledge’ are the ‘keyword families’ explored here which were selected as the most relevant within the recent work of the Connecting Practice project.

This document has been developed by ICOMOS, based on inputs from many contributors. The foundations of this Commentary are provided by relevant international organisations and academic texts. To clarify the different applications of these keywords in natural and cultural heritage conservation, relevant doctrinal and guidance texts have been reviewed.

The Commentary does not presume to be complete, but instead, to be a ‘work in progress’ that could be useful for heritage practitioners working with an interdisciplinary language. It is intended that the Commentary will remain open – a ‘living’ document that can continue to be improved.


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Click here to download the document on ICOMOS Open Archive 

See also

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Connecting Practice - Phase III: Final Report

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ICOMOS’ Work on connecting Culture and Nature