A Handbook for Managers of Cultural Landscapes with Natural Resource Values Conservation Study Institute
Parque Nacional Lauca, Chile, photo by Barbara Slaiby
Executive Summary
An Overview of Cultural Landscape Preservation
The Evolution of Cultural Landscape Preservation in the United States
International Recognition of Cultural Landscape Preservation
Definition of 'Cultural Landscapes'
An Overview of Cultural Landscape Preservation Parque Nacional Lauca, Chile, photo by Barbara Slaiby
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International Recognition of Cultural Landscape Preservation

photo by Barbara Slaiby
Vat Phou World Heritage Site, Champasak Cultural Landscape, Laos

Many countries around the world also recognize the diversity and value of cultural landscapes. Starting in 1984, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Committee (formed under the auspices of the World Heritage Convention, an international treaty) struggled with the issue of cultural landscapes for almost a decade. Two issues inhibited consensus on the values that identify cultural landscapes: the equation of cultural landscapes with rural landscapes, and the requirement for a harmonious balance between nature and human activities in cultural landscapes. Finally, in 1992, new guidelines were adopted to specifically address the question of cultural landscapes. As of February 2002, there were 23 cultural landscapes on UNESCO's World Heritage List. These sites are diverse and reflect a variety of reasons for inclusion, such as the specific technique of land use in the rice terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras or the spiritual beliefs of the people who live in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia. UNESCO is currently preparing management guidelines for World Heritage cultural landscapes.iii

photo by Nora Mitchell
Lake District of United Kingdom

Cultural landscapes share much common ground with protected landscapes, Category V in IUCN-The World Conservation Union's protected area management categories. Both are focused on landscapes where human relationships with the natural environment over time define their essential character. But, while the emphases in cultural landscapes have been on human history, continuity of cultural traditions, and social values and aspirations, the primary emphases in protected landscapes have been the natural environment, biodiversity conservation, and ecosystem integrity.

iiivon Droste, Bernd, and Mechtild Rössler. "World Heritage Cultural Landscapes." Landscape Stewardship: New Directions in Conservation of Nature and Culture. The George Wright Forum 17, no. 1 (2000).

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