There exist a great variety of Landscapes that are representative of the different regions of the world. Combined works of nature and humankind, they express a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environment.
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Certain sites reflect specific techniques of land use that guarantee and sustain biological diversity. Others, associated in the minds of the communities with powerful beliefs and artistic and traditional customs, embody an exceptional spiritual relationship of people with nature.
To reveal and sustain the great diversity of the interactions between humans and their environment, to protect living traditional cultures and preserve the traces of those which have disappeared, these sites, called cultural landscapes, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Cultural landscapes -- cultivated terraces on lofty mountains, gardens, sacred places ... -- testify to the creative genius, social development and the imaginative and spiritual vitality of humanity. They are part of our collective identity.
To date, 82 properties with 4 transboundary properties (1 delisted property) on the World Heritage List have been included as cultural landscapes.
In 1992 the World Heritage Convention became the first international legal instrument to recognise and protect cultural landscapes. The Committee at its 16th session adopted guidelines concerning their inclusion in the World Heritage List.
The Committee acknowledged that cultural landscapes represent the "combined works of nature and of man" designated in Article 1 of the Convention. They are illustrative of the evolution of human society and settlement over time, under the influence of the physical constraints and/or opportunities presented by their natural environment and of successive social, economic and cultural forces, both external and internal.
The term "cultural landscape" embraces a diversity of manifestations of the interaction between humankind and its natural environment. Cultural landscapes often reflect specific techniques of sustainable land-use, considering the characteristics and limits of the natural environment they are established in, and a specific spiritual relation to nature. Protection of cultural landscapes can contribute to modern techniques of sustainable land-use and can maintain or enhance natural values in the landscape. The continued existence of traditional forms of land-use supports biological diversity in many regions of the world. The protection of traditional cultural landscapes is therefore helpful in maintaining biological diversity.
Cultural landscapes fall into three main categories (Operational Guidelines 2008, Annex3), namely:
The most easily identifiable is the clearly defined landscape designed and created intentionally by man. This embraces garden and parkland landscapes constructed for aesthetic reasons which are often (but not always) associated with religious or other monumental buildings and ensembles.
The second category is the organically evolved landscape. This results from an initial social, economic, administrative, and/or religious imperative and has developed its present form by association with and in response to its natural environment. Such landscapes reflect that process of evolution in their form and component features.
They fall into two sub-categories:
- a relict (or fossil) landscape is one in which an evolutionary process came to an end at some time in the past, either abruptly or over a period. Its significant distinguishing features are, however, still visible in material form.
- continuing landscape is one which retains an active social role in contemporary society closely associated with the traditional way of life, and in which the evolutionary process is still in progress. At the same time it exhibits significant material evidence of its evolution over time.
The final category is the associative cultural landscape. The inclusion of such landscapes on the World Heritage List is justifiable by virtue of the powerful religious, artistic or cultural associations of the natural element rather than material cultural evidence, which may be insignificant or even absent.
World Heritage Regional Thematic Expert Meetings on Cultural Landscapes 1992 - 2007
- Thematic meeting of experts on the agro-pastoral cultural landscapes in the Mediterranean, Meyrueis, Lozère, France, September 20-22, 2007
- Meeting of Experts on Cultural Landscapes in the Caribbean: Identification and Safeguarding Strategies, Santiago de Cuba, November 7-10, 2005
Background paper ingles Nov 3.doc
Background paper español Nov 3.doc
Santiago de Cuba Declaration. ENGLISH.FINAL.doc
Declaración de Santiago de Cuba. espanol.doc
- World Heritage Thematic Expert Meeting on Vineyard Cultural Landscapes (Hungary, July 2001)
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre / Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan / Wakayama Prefectural Government (ed.): UNESCO Thematic Expert Meeting on Asia-Pacific Sacred Mountains. 5-10 September 2001, Wakayama City, Japan. Final Report.
- Expert Meeting on Desert Landscapes and Oasis Systems (Oasis Kharga, Egypt, 2001)
- Thematic Expert Meeting in Potential Natural World Heritage in the Alps (Hallstatt, Austria, 2000)
- Expert Meeting on the Management Guidelines for Cultural Landscapes (Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia, June 1999)
- Von Droste, B., Rössler, M., Titchen, S. (eds.): Linking Nature and Culture. Report on the Global Strategy, Natural and Cultural Heritage Expert Meeting 25 to 29 March 1998, Amsterdam, Netherlands. (E)
- Expert Meeting on Routes as Part of the Cultural Heritage (Spain, November 1994)
- International Expert Meeting on "Cultural Landscapes of Outstanding Universal Value" (Germany, October 1993)
- Expert Group on Cultural Landscapes (France, October 1992)
Expert Meetings on Cultural Landscapes organized by States Parties
- Monument - Site - Cultural Landscape Exemplified by the Wachau (Austria, October 1998)
- Cultural Landscapes: Concept and Implementation (Italy, March 2000)
Books and Proceedings
- Von Droste, B., Plachter, H., Rössler, M. (eds.):
Cultural Landscapes of Universal Value.
Components of a Global Strategy. Jena: Fischer Verlag 1995. (E)
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre:
Heritage Transportation Canal Corridors.
Proceedings of the International Meeting of Experts 15 to 19 September 1994.
Ottawa: Department of Canadian Heritage, 1996. (E/F)
- Pressouyre, L.:
The World Heritage Convention, twenty years later.
Paris, UNESCO Publishing 1996.
- Barreda, E.M. (ed.):
Paisajes Culturales en Los Andes.
Memoria Narrativa, Casos de Estudio, Conclusiones y Recomendaciones de la Réunion de Expertos, Arequipa y Chivay, Perú, 1998. (Spanish)
- Committee on the Preservation, Development and Utilization of Cultural Landscapes Associated with Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Monuments and Site Division, Cultural Properties Department, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan:
The Report of the Study on the Protection of Cultural Landscapes Associated with Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
12. June 2003, Japan
- Conseil de l'Europe :
Mémoire du patrimoine.
Naturopa no 99 / 2003 (French/English)
- Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission e.V., Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus (ed.):
Natur und Kultur.
Ambivalente Dimensionen unseres Erbes. Perspektivenwechsel. Deutsche UNESCO Kommission e.V. 2002 (German/English)
- Fowler, P.J.: World Heritage Cultural Landscapes 1992 - 2002.
World Heritage Papers 6.
UNESCO World Heritage Centre 2003. (E)
- Hajós, G. (ed.): Monument - Site - Cultural Landscape. Exemplified by the Wachau. Proceedings of the International Conference from 12th to 15th October 1998 in Dürnstein (Austria). Verlag Berger, Wien - Horn. (1998) (Engish/German)
- Hungarian World Heritage Committee, UNESCO World Heritage Centre (ed.):
Proceedings of the World Heritage Expert Meeting on Vineyard Cultural Landscapes.
11 - 14 Juny, Tokaj, Hungary. Nemzeti Kulturális Örökség Minisztériuma, 2002. (English) Short version
- Lee, C, Schaaf, T. (eds.):
International Workshop on the Importance of Sacred Natural Sites for the Biodiversity Conservation.
Kunming and Xishuangbanna Biosphere Reserve. People's Republic of China, 17 - 20 February 2003. Proceedings. UNESCO, Division of Ecological Sciences 2003 (E)
- Michalowski, A. et al. (eds.):
Studia I Materialy. The Regional Expert Meeting on the Cultural Landscapes in Eastern Europe.
Bialystok, Poland 29 September - 3 October 1999. Osrodek Ochrony Zabytkowego Krajobrazu Narodowa Instytucja Kultury, Warszawa 2000. (E)
- Rìos, M., Rössler, M., Lepeigné-Cobo, A. M. (ed.):
Paisajes Culturales en Mesoamérica.
Reunión de Expertos, Memoria. 27 al 30 de septiembre de 2000. UNESCO 2000 (Spanish)
- Rössler, M., Saouma-Forero, G.:
The World Heritage Convention and cultural landscapes in Africa.
Expert Meeting - Tiwi, Kenya 9/14 March 1999. UNESCO 2000, CRATerre See also
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre, IUCN (eds.):
Vision and reality. The World Heritage Convention in action. World Conservation Number 2 2001.
The IUCN Bulletin.
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre / Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan / Wakayama Prefectural Government (ed.):
UNESCO Thematic Expert Meeting on Asia-Pacific Sacred Mountains.
5-10 September 2001, Wakayama City, Japan. Final Report.
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre:
Cultural Landscapes: the Challenges of Conservation.
Proceedings of the conference: World Heritage 2002, Shared Legacy, Common Responsibility, 11 - 12 November 2002 Ferrara, Italy. World Heritage Papers 7, 2002 (F)
Natural Sacred Sites.
Cultural Diversity and Biological Diversity. International Symposium, Paris 1998
- Von Droste, B., Rössler, M., Titchen, S. (eds.):
Linking Nature and Culture.
Report on the Global Strategy, Natural and Cultural Heritage Expert Meeting 25 to 29 March 1998, Amsterdam, Netherlands. (E)
Agnoletti, M. (edited by), The Conservation of Cultural Landscapes, CABI Publishing, 2006. (E)
- Interview with Francesco Bandarin on cultural landscapes, American Society of Landscape Architects, 8 March 2010
- Bequette, F.:
Gardens of the Far East.
In: The UNESCO courier: a window open on the world; 50, 5. Publ: 1997; p. 44-46
- Bergeret, Y.:
Reading the landscape.
In: The UNESCO courier: a window open on the world; 50, 5. Publ: 1997; p. 10-15
- Boukhari, S.:
Beyond the monuments: a living heritage.
In: UNESCO sources; 80. Publ: 1996; p. 7-16 (E, F)
- Cleere, H.:
World heritage vineyard landscapes.
In: World Heritage Review; 35 Publ: 2004; p. 4-19 (E, F)
- De Marco, L.; Stovel, H.:
Cinque Terre: a landscape carved from stone.
In: World Heritage Review; 33 Publ: 2003; p. 54-65 (E, F)
- Díaz F., José M.:
Quebrada de Humahuaca.
In: World Heritage Review; 35. Publ: 2004; p. 68-79
- Jonathan, P.:
From garden to landscape in Suzhou.
In: World Heritage Review; 13, Publ: 1999; p. 4-15
- Lowenthal, D.:
In: The UNESCO courier: a window open on the world; 50, 9, Publ: 1997; p. 18-20
- Lu W.:
The Soul of Suzhou's gardens.
In: The UNESCO courier; 53, 12. Publ: 2000; p. 20-22
- Molstad, A.:
The Nordic road map for world heritage conservation.
In: World Heritage Review; 33. Publ: 2003; p. 20-23
- Novák, Z.:
In: World Heritage Review; 9, Publ: 1998; p. 24-35
- Quilitzsch, U.:
The Garden kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz.
In: World Heritage Review; 25, Publ: 2002; p. 70-79
- Roberts, J.:
Moghal gardens: paradise and conservation.
In: World Heritage Review; 7, Publ: 1998; p. 20-31
- Rössler, M.:
The integration of cultural landscapes into the World Heritage.
In: The World Heritage Newsletter, No. 1, February 1993, 15. (E/F)
- Rössler, M.:
Conserving outstanding cultural landscapes.
In: The World Heritage Newsletter, No. 2, June 1993, 14-15. (E/F)
- Rössler, M.:
Protecting outstanding cultural landscapes.
In: The World Heritage Newsletter, No. 3, December 1993, 15. (E/F)
- Rössler, M.:
Welterbe - Wessen kulturelle Werte. Perspektiven für den Schutz von Kulturlandschaften indigener Völker.
In: Infoemagazin. Zeitschrift für Ökologie und Vierte Welt, 2/93, Dezember 1993. (German only)
- Rössler, M.:
Tongariro: first cultural landscape on the World Heritage List.
In: The World Heritage Newsletter, No. 4, March 1994, 15. (E/F)
- Rössler, M.:
Neue Perspektiven für den Schutz von Kulturlandschaften. Kultur und Natur im Rahmen der Welterbekonvention.
In: Geographische Rundschau 47 (1995), 343-347. (G/E)
- Rössler, M.:
World Heritage Cultural Landscapes: A UNESCO Flagship Programma 1992-2006.
In: Landscape Research, Vol. 31, No. 4, October 2006, 333-353. (E)
- Titchen, S. M.:
Protecting cultural landscapes in the Asian Pacific region.
In: World Heritage Review; 2. Publ: 1996; p. 34-39 Landscape with figures: the dialogue between people and places. In: The UNESCO courier: a window open on the world; 50, 5, Publ: 1997 (E, F, S)
Charters and Other Instruments
- International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (The Venice Charter)
- The Florence Charter (Historic gardens and landscapes)
- Charter for the Protection and Management of the Archaeological Heritage
- International Charter on Cultural Tourism
- The Nara Document on Authenticity
- The Australia ICOMOS Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance (The Burra Charter)
- World Heritage Cultural Landscape, ICOMOS Documentation Centre, June 2007
- Convention For the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Paris, 17 October 2003
- Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
Paris, 16 November 1972
- Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage
16 November 1972
- Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding of Beauty and Character of Landscapes and Sites
11 December 1962
Council of Europe
- Council of Europe www.coe.int/
- The European Institute of Cultural Routes
- European Landscape Convention
- MAB (UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme) www.unesco.org/mab/
- Forum Unescoforumunesco.upv.es/eng/index.html
- Melina Mercury Price
- ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) www.icomos.org/
- For landscape issues see also National ICOMOS organizations such as the UK, Australia, USA and others.
- IUCN (The World Conservation Union) www.iucn.org/
- ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) http://www.iccrom.org/
- UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) www.unep.org/
- UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centrewww.unep-wcmc.org/
- UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development www.un.org/esa/sustdev/
- UN-HABITAT (United Nations Human Settlement Programme) www.unhabitat.org/
- FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) www.fao.org/
- UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Securitywww.rdfs.net/index.htm
- IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) www.iflaonline.org/
- IALE (International Association for Landscape Ecology) www.landscape-ecology.org/
- ISoCaRP (International Society of City and Regional Planners) www.isocarp.org/
- UIA (International Union of Architects) www.uia-architectes.org/count-uia.shtml
- INTECOL (International Society for Ecology) www.intecol.net/
- IGU (International Geographic Union) www.igu-net.org/
- GCI The Getty Conservation Institute www.getty.edu/conservation/institute/
- CIESIN (The Center for International Earth Science Information Network) www.ciesin.org/
- GITA (The Geospatial Information & Technology Association) www.gita.org/default.html
- ITC (International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation) www.itc.nl/
- INTBAU (The International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism) www.intbau.org/
- The Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation www.ahlp.org/index.html
- Slow Food Movement www.slowfood.com/
- Landscape Conservation Networks , US tnc-ecomanagement.org/
- Heritage Conservation Network www.heritageconservation.net/index.htm
- WMF (World Monuments Fund) www.wmf.org/
- OWHC (The Organization of World Heritage Cities) www.ovpm.org/?flash=1&detect=1
- The Global Heritage Fund www.globalheritagefund.org/home_static.html
- The Society for Industrial Archaeology www.sia-web.org/
- The Cultural Landscape Foundation www.tclf.org/
- Cultural Heritage Search Engine www.culturalheritage.net/