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Application deadline 7 May: Capacity Building Workshop on Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation in Asia and the Pacific

Monday 19 Mar 2018
Monday 07 May 2018

UNESCO Chair on Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation 

Capacity Building Workshop on Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation in Asia and the Pacific: Disasters and Resilience

Dates: September 21 – October 1, 2018

Place: University of Tsukuba, Japan

Organized by the UNESCO Chair on Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation at the University of Tsukuba, in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, IUCN, ICCROM and ICOMOS.


Heritage Conservation is an evolving practice, and one of the current debates focuses on identifying and recovering the connections between nature and culture sectors. This exchange has become instrumental for the interpretation, conservation and sustainable management of both natural and cultural heritage sites. 

The purpose of the Capacity Building Workshops on Nature-Culture Linkages in Asia and the Pacific (CBWNCL) is to contribute to the World Heritage Capacity Building Programme led by ICCROM and IUCN, in consultation with ICOMOS and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, in developing new approaches towards integrated conservation of cultural and natural heritage. These workshops started in 2016, explore nature-culture linkages with focus on theory and practice in Asia and the Pacific Region. The visit to Japanese heritage sites forms a core component of the programme where participants conduct practical work. Participants will be able to understand issues and explore approaches being adopted in the field.

The first workshop under the theme “Agricultural landscapes” was held in September 2016, which was inaugurated with an international symposium at the University of Tsukuba, and with field visits to the Noto Peninsula and the Historical villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, World Heritage site since 1995. 14 participants coming from the culture and nature sectors from 9 countries in Asia and the Pacific (Philippines, India, Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, China, Turkey, Indonesia) and 2 countries from other regions (Latin America, Colombia and Africa, Ghana) gathered with international and Japanese experts during the workshop. The second workshop was dedicated to “Sacred Landscapes” and was held in September 2017. This time, the workshop closed with the Second International Symposium on Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation. 16 participants from 13 countries in Asia and the Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, India and Cambodia) 1 from Europe (France) and 1 from Africa (Ghana), visited along with international experts on the heritage field as well as Japanese professionals and site managers, the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. 

Theme of CBWNCL 2018: Disasters and Resilience

Increasing disasters, both natural and man-made are severely impacting the well-being of human communities as well as landscapes around the globe. As a result, many international organizations and governments are making efforts to combat these threats by developing programs to reinforce disaster risk preparedness, management and mitigation, and to build resilience in vulnerable territories such as small islands states, coastal regions, desert areas and under-developed human settlements.

Natural and cultural heritage are not exempted from this increased vulnerability, and strategies are being put in practice for protecting them in isolation by practitioners of the two sectors. The UNESCO Chair on Nature-Culture Linkages created recently at Tsukuba University and its ongoing programme intend to create a space for the exchange between natural heritage and cultural heritage sectors. In this workshop, the interest lies in exploring the nature-culture linkages that could be developed in the context of disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and the possibilities of developing comprehensive approaches that consider the cultural values that could contribute to the conservation of natural areas as well as the natural values that can support the protection of cultural heritage. By sharing experiences and case studies, observing the Japanese experience in the field and exchanging knowledge among practitioners from Asia and the Pacific, the workshop expects to raise awareness, and reflect on a region that is increasingly vulnerable to disasters, but also, strong in resilience and recovery experience.


  • •To strengthen theoretical knowledge on disasters and resilience and its relevance in connecting conservation practices between natural and cultural heritage professionals.
  • •To visit and exchange experiences with local managers and residents in areas/sites in Japan that have been affected by disasters and learn how cultural and natural heritage have been protected, conserved or recovered with different approaches, initiatives and governance systems. 
  • •To reflect on nature-culture linkages, natural values and cultural values in vulnerable landscapes in general, and in participants’ own sites/case studies in particular.
  • •To establish networks among heritage practitioners in the region.



The workshop is an intensive programme combining theory and practice, through lectures, presentations and roundtables in Tsukuba at the University Campus, and a field trip to the Tohoku region: the Sanriku Reconstruction National Park, Matsushima, place of scenic beauty, and Hiraizumi - Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land -, World Heritage property since 2011, where participants will be in contact with local managers and local communities.



The workshop is open to a maximum number of 15 professionals from Asia and the Pacific region involved in the management of cultural or natural heritage sites vulnerable to natural and human-made disasters. Mid-career heritage practitioners with minimum of 5 years of experience from both natural and cultural heritage sectors currently engaged in managing/working in vulnerable cultural heritage sites, and natural heritage sites with cultural values and vice versa are eligible to apply.



International and Japanese professionals and academics in the field of heritage conservation (nature and culture sectors).

Working language: English 

Course Fee: Free 

Travel, accommodation and living expenses

Organizers will cover the cost of accommodation and living expenses in Japan. For the selected participants, a limited number of scholarships will be available to cover the international travel costs. 


A certificate of attendance given by the University will be awarded to participants who satisfactorily complete the workshop.

For more details on the application requirements: http://www.conservation.tsukuba.ac.jp/joceq5f2f-15/#_15


Course website


Monday, 19 March 2018
Monday, 7 May 2018

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University of Tsukuba, Japan