The 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress calls for linking nature and culture for sustainable development
The Nature-Culture Journey of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress concluded with a call for commitments, “Malama Honua - to care for our island Earth”. It recognizes the nature-culture links as vital for addressing contemporary conservation challenges.
The 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, which took place in Honolulu, Hawai’i from 1 to 10 September 2016, was attended by some 10,000 participants from governments, civil society, indigenous, faith and spiritual communities, the private sector, and academia.
The ten-day congress featured over 1,000 events covering 22 different themes. The Nature-Culture Journey was jointly coordinated by IUCN and ICOMOS with the assistance of US/ICOMOS and in collaboration with UNESCO and other partners. The Journey was organized for the first time as a companion to the World Heritage Journey.
Inspired by the debates and deliberations of the Journey, the participants adopted a joint statement of commitments, “Mālama Honua – to care for our island Earth”. The Hawaiian expression, Mālama Honua, means “to take care of and protect everything that makes up our world: land, oceans, living beings, our cultures, and our communities”.
The statement calls upon actors from nature and culture sectors to work together to address a number of urgent global challenges, by adopting integrated nature-culture solutions to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the forthcoming Habitat III’s New Urban Agenda.
The statement also recognizes UNESCO’s contributions to setting global standards linking nature and culture for effective and holistic conservation policy and practice, including through the World Heritage Convention, which explicitly recognizes heritage as both natural and cultural.
The Nature-Culture Journey builds on the growing evidence that natural and cultural heritage are closely interconnected in most landscapes and seascapes, and that effective and lasting conservation of such places requires a more effective integration of approaches.
Over 50 events were featured at the Nature-Culture Journey and the World Heritage Journey, providing an opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to exchange knowledge and practices that could further advance the interconnectedness of nature and culture in the conservation and management of places important to people around the world.
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World Heritage and Nature-Culture Journey at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress